Good news for sports lovers — JP Flugel

JP Flugel

But what is the true meaning of sport?

Good day friends. Welcome to February’s edition of Team Talk. Let me begin by wishing Gateway News a happy 10th year anniversary. Congratulations to Andre Viljoen who is the founder and our editor. A man with vision and a heart to see God’s truth revealed through journalism and an awesome job he has done. Andre, you are an inspiration to us all. We thank God for you and may the next 10 be filled with His love, joy, peace, wisdom, knowledge, insight and understanding as you lead and guide us.  

There has been such great news for us this week, with sport being able to return from the 15Th under strict Covid protocols. Even though it’s still only practices, it is going to be so great being back. I, personally am involved with rugby and the excitement is mounting as if it was match day.

PHOTO: Rose-Tite

I know you get what I am saying. It is not just a game, regardless of which sport you are passionate about. Then again, it is not just about winning and trophies either. Or being the best at what you do. These are all by-products of sport. Do not get me wrong. Nothing wrong with putting in the hard yards to be the best you can be. Nothing wrong with wanting to win and striving for that. Likewise, nothing wrong with wanting to win trophies, etc. Having goals and setting out to achieve them is a good thing. In Proverbs 29:18 it actually says where there is no vision, the people perish.

My concern is when we will do whatever it takes, both legally or illegally (and I am talking about use of steroids or banned substances). When we strive to win at all costs. When we will use anything or trample on anyone to get where we want to go. This may work for a time or even a few seasons but it will eventually be exposed and cause great damage to you and others around you.

Please heed this warning, especially young athletes at school level. It truly breaks my heart when athletes crack under the pressure and try to get an edge. This process can also be addictive and even open the doors to other illegal substances. Know that our enemy, the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus came to bring life and life to the full. I did major damage to my own sporting career and dreams many years ago when I opened the door to drugs. I never used steroids but all the same, my career was over before it began. I thank God that He stepped in and set me free.  

Sport is so much more than just being the best, winning games and titles and making a name for oneself — or even making money. Matt 16:26 — what good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Think on that for a moment. What does that mean to you? Take a moment to think about what is beyond the horizon of achieving all that you set out to achieve?  What does it look like after you have won it all? Achieving it all can be both very fulfilling — or, believe it or not, can leave one totally unfulfilled.

PHOTO: Ariel

I am guessing that you want to achieve and feel fulfilled. Consider this! Sport is about people. God created people, loves people and even sent His son to die for people, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Because God loves people and He cares about what people do then God loves sport. This wise statement is accredited to our training at Sports Chaplaincy SA. The greatest thing we can do is love people and serve them. When we chose to love God with all our heart, soul and mind then we will automatically love and serve people. It is God’s desire for us. To love Him and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.  

Regardless of where you are at in your journey in life, regardless of what you have done or even what you have achieved, know that Jesus loves you. That you are created in His image. That He has a great plan for your life. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope, life and a future — even in the midst of the uncertainty that this pandemic has brought. Put your trust in Jesus. Not in people, not in your own abilities, not in steroids or sport enhancing substances, not in results, not even in the game you so dearly love.

Jeremiah 33:3 says — call to me (God) and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. I have made that choice. I now understand the biggest question of life, who I am and what my purpose is. I understand fulfilment. Do you? You can too. for Christ is more than willing to reveal it to you.  

As you begin to navigate through the start of this new season, let’s make it about people.  let’s choose to love and respect people. Let’s choose Jesus and you will be astonished at the great things He will accomplish through you.  

Beloved, if you need to talk to someone about anything or if you need prayer, please contact a local sports chaplain or pastor. If you do not know any please contact me and I will gladly chat and pray with you or connect you with someone in your area,  

God bless.  
JP Flugel  

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