GRATEFUL ATHLETES TAKE TIME TO SOAK IN THE MOMENT
Despite the encouragement that God and our culture give us to be grateful—and the many reasons athletes specifically have—it can be hard to practice gratitude in the midst of the daily grind of our sport. Our ability to be grateful often ebbs and flows with the circumstances in front of us.
It needs to become a habit.
The first habit to grow our gratitude muscle involves our perspective of our athletic talent and the sport we play.
Do you see your athletic talent—or even the sport you play as a gift? I sure hope you do! We see in James 1:17 that every gift that is good comes from God. The good gifts in our lives should always draw our attention back to God as the primary giver of those gifts.
The first step of becoming a grateful athlete involves seeing your sport—and the ability to play it—as gifts from God, not something you have earned on your own. Obviously, you had to work to get where you are at today. I am not minimizing the blood, sweat, and tears that fill up your athletic resume. But God is the one who created you to be uniquely skilled at your specific sport. It is a good gift that He has given you. Seeing your sport as a gift is crucial to becoming more grateful because it allows you to appreciate and savor the moments that sports bring.
Before practice or competition, they stop, take a deep breath, and make it a point to appreciate what they are about to engage in. Who else on this earth gets to play a game they love in front of fans who cheer them on in the process?
Is there pressure involved in that? Sure. But grateful athletes make it a habit to pause and enjoy, if only for a moment, the unique opportunity they get to experience.
Today’s Gratitude Challenge: Before practice today, say a quick prayer thanking God for the opportunity to play the sport you love.