You, no matter who you are, were created by God with a specific talents and gifts. The same is true for the members of your family – your spouse and your children. The Scripture teaches that God himself “created (our) inmost being.” He designed us with different abilities and personalities, but each of us was personally crafted by our Creator. God created us this way, not just so that we would be unique (which we are), but so that we could each accomplish a unique purpose.
Now this is amazing, the Bible also says that “the LORD determines (our) steps.” Which means that he directs the overall course of our lives, placing us in certain places at certain times. Now if we put these two thoughts together, something incredible emerges, God gives us certain talents and abilities and then puts us in certain places at certain times in order to use those talents to accomplish his purpose. Or in other words, our talents and abilities and our opportunities to use them are given to us by God to accomplish a specific purpose.
I know what your thinking, “Dude, what does this have to do with t-ball? Did you mis-title this blog?” This has everything to do with t-ball or any other sport. It means that your kid has been gifted by God to do certain things. Perhaps he can bend a soccer ball like Beckham, maybe she can throw a wicked breaking ball, or he can run like the wind. Maybe your kid just loves to have fun playing or maybe your kid is a superstar. In any case, God gave them that ability for a reason. Often, we talk about God giving us abilities, but we leave out the part that says there is a purpose behind it. Some of you think you’ve already figured out the purpose… superstardom!
I know you’re going to be upset with me when I tell you this, but your kid is not going to be a professional athlete. I hate to dash your hopes and dreams for your children, but I’m trying to prepare you for the future. Don’t believe me? If your kid plays basketball, the percentage of males in the US between the ages of 20-35 who are in the NBA is .0015% (and I did mean to include the percentage sign there, it is .0015%, not .15%.). The total percentage of our current population who are professional athletes of some kind at some level is roughly 1.3%. Statistically speaking it is highly improbable that your kid is going to play baseball or any other sport for a living. If right now you’re thinking your kid is the exception to the rule, just know that there is only a minuscule chance that you’re right.
What if we could trade the temporary nature of athletics into something more? What if there was a greater purpose behind your kid playing sports than just improbable hopes that he/she will make it as a pro? What if it was even bigger than character building and learning how to be a team player? What if God placed your child on a particular team at a particular time with particular abilities and talents? That starts to change your perspective, doesn’t it? I’d like to take it one step further, He placed your child there for a specific purpose and ultimately for his Glory. This means that things of eternal significance can be accomplished in a single, mostly forgettable, and temporary sports season.
If your child is the QB of the football team, God has given your family at unique opportunity to display and proclaim his greatness. If your child is on a dance squad, God has placed her there at this specific time so that your family can tell of God’s goodness. If your child rides the pine on the baseball team, that, too, is for God’s glory so that you can exemplify a Christ like attitude in front of dozens of other families. In other words, this is not about you and trying desperately to make it to the next level. It is a God-given platform made possible by God-given talents at a God-given time in order that God might achieve his purpose for a unique group of people. A group of people who are connected to you by the team and your talents. A group of people who you are uniquely positioned to reach.
You and your family have been graciously given the chance to reach a specific group of people with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I’m afraid you might miss it because of being too focused on the next level or winning it all or your child’s success or even character building. God cares greatly about your family’s involvement in sports, but the reason is that he placed you in the lives of the other team members and their families for a specific, unique, God-exalting purpose. I want to encourage you to trade in your small thing (curveballs and corner kicks, free throws and flip-turns) for a massive thing, leveraging what you’ve been given for his Glory!