What God Has Taught Me Through Sport: Ryan Speer, Lipscomb Men’s Cross Country

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What God Has Taught Through Sport:

When I reported for training camp in mid-august, I had some mixed emotions. I was excited to be back with the team and get the season rolling. I had just wrapped up probably one of my best summers of training and ended freshman year as the ASUN 800m champion. However, from all this success, I seem to also place emotions of high expectations that also come with nerves and anxieties.

As the season progressed, these anxieties started to come into others areas of my life like school-work and relationships with teammates. Everyday I woke up, I felt like I had to control these anxious thoughts. I would pray over them and it would work for a particular race, test, or confrontation with someone, but they seemed to come back the next morning. Fighting with anxieties, expectations and nerves is normal for most athletes. On one level it shows how much you care about your sport, school work, and relationships. On another level, it reveals to you where you place your identity.

This semester I’ve learned that I need to constantly be placing my identity in Christ, because one day we’re going to wake up and realize that running, school work, and relationships go away, but Christ will always be there for us.

 

Two passages of scripture that this semester have seemed to bring light to this subject are Hebrews 12:1-2a and Philippians 4:4-9

 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. – Hebrews 12:1-2a

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:4-9

 

A typical prayer I like to say before a race goes something like:

“Lord, Give me strength in my legs and mind. Help me to be a servant for today, looking for ways to help out others. Keep me reminded that whatever the outcome is, my victory has already been won in You. Because of your goodness and grace, I get to race!”

 

The more we focus our efforts on keeping God at the forefront of our lives, I believe we will be able to walk through life knowing that whatever anxious thoughts come our way, we can rest assure that through God’s goodness, we will be taken care of.

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By: Ryan Speer, Lipscomb Men’s Cross Country and Track

 

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Lipscomb Men’s Cross Country

 

 

 

 

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