Jesus on the sport field

 

Like most young boys I played a lot of sport at school and through the grace of God always made the A-team in my age group. I always thanked God for my achievements on and off the sport field. By the time I went to high school I, like so many teenagers, also lost the plot and experimented with booze. As you know, for any teenager peer pressure is huge and at that age one wants to be IN with the cool guys and girls. Yes it was nice to hang out with these people but it came at a price in that my performance on the sport field deteriorated.

Having been brought up in a Christian home with Christian values I always knew that what I was busy with was not right. During the day at school with my buddies I buried those value driven thoughts deep in the back of my mind but when I got into bed at night those same thoughts haunted me. I struggled to say my evening prayers. I was faced with a difficult decision i.e. to be part of the cool crowd or to walk on the straight and narrow path of Christ. I can’t recall exactly but I think I prayed about this dilemma of mine.

After participating in a few more weekend drinking sprees with my cool friends God intervened by giving me the necessary courage to reject the next invitation to a wild party, and the next and the next. Surprisingly I did not lose any of my friends due to my refusal to drink with them anymore. They respected my decision and, as a matter of fact, they eventually liked the fact that I was not drinking because I became the driver who took them home safely after the parties. My focus returned to my sport. God taught me that it was not necessary to participate in the “bad” things to be cool. I thank Him for that because it was a very important lesson that came in handy during my time at varsity and in the army.

Like I said before, I loved playing sport and it was on the sport field where I had a second memorable encounter with the living God.

In my matric year I was chosen to participate in the provincial cricket trials. There were a lot of very good players. Before the day of the trials I thanked God for the opportunity of being invited and I asked him to be with all of the guys. Obviously I wanted to ask God to secure a spot for me in the North West Provincial team but fortunately I remained humble and simply asked him to bless all of us and for his will to be done. Whilst I was sitting on the pavilion waiting for my turn to bat I again prayed and requested God to still my nerves and to help me to do my best and thereafter I trusted him, knowing that His will will be done. I had a good innings. The trials carried on ‘till dusk and whilst the selectors were having their meeting all the boys waited in anticipation on the pavilion. At last they appeared and started announcing the names of the 14 team members. One by one they read the names and everybody would applaud after each name. My name was not among the first 13 but was read last – not because I was a reserve but because I was appointed captain of the squad. This time God proved to me the truth of His word because what is written in 2 Corinthians 9: 8 (blessing in abundance) had just became real to me. Not only was I blessed to be a member of the provincial team but it was blessing in abundance in that I was appointed captain of the team!!! God was not “out there”, He was with me even on the sport field. It is not a case of selective or ad hoc presence – He is there for me every moment of every day – ready to bless me again and again. When you are a child of the living Christ then “Expect your every need to be met. Expect the answer to every problem, expect abundance on every level.” ~ Eileen Caddy.

God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Cor 9: 8)

Charles

If and when this Testimony has spoken into your heart, please go to the Commitment page.

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