A monthly Christian sport column by Cobus Kruger, a professional triathlete who is passionate about evangelism, leadership and community development through sport.
This, for me, is always an exciting but difficult time of the year. It is as if everybody wants to do all the things they didn’t get to do in the year, but it is also the time of the year when the body is tired and just needs that break over Christmas, which is so close but yet so far. So at this time of the year I’m always taking a look at what my motivation is for doing what I’m doing.
Do you feel the same about this time of the year? If so or even if not, the question that I want to ask you today is: what motivates you?
Recently my wife and I assisted Athletes in Action with their Ultimate Training Camp. One of the principles that we use on this camp is the “Inside Game” principle.
We help sports people work through the theory and practicality of this principle. The purpose of this session is that the athletes take a look at their lives and sport to discover what their motivation is.
If the athletes truly understand their identity in Christ, then His love, grace and truth would fuel and form an entirely new motivation for competition and life.
Let me explain
If we look at the sport world then we see many different motivations that drive sports people pursue their ultimate performance, but these motivations are not everlasting. These motivations can only drive you to train and perform in certain conditions and periods of your life and sport career. These motivations can be fear of failure, revenge, recognition, pride, accomplishment, anger, coach, parents, friendships, money, winning — and there are so many more outward motivations that are not everlasting.
A practical observation that I have made as I have worked with athletes through the years is that when we play a game just for points and teaching purposes of the principles, then the intensity changes from low to moderate and back during the game. It is not constant. But as soon as we play the final game where we have a big prize for the winning team, then suddenly the intensity level goes much higher in the game.
The question that I normally ask after the game when we evaluate the players’ motivation points is: Why did our intensity suddenly go up? The answer normally is because there is this prize that motivates us to play harder.
Here is my point
If Jesus — His love, His grace, His presence – who gives us life to the full from the inside, is our motivation, should we not then always play with full intensity for the sake of His Glory, and in His Grace, whether there is a prize or not? Should our intensity level not stay more constant then? Something to think about…
So at the end of this year, when you are maybe tired and frustrated, think of what or who your motivation is for what you do.
God’s love moves us from fear into freedom — let’s walk into this inside motivation as we do what we do in the freedom of glorifying God without the fear that our outward motivations could give us.
May Jesus be your way, truth and life!
Have a blessed Jesus Fest over December!
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