I played basketball all the way through high school, and one of the things that I kept hearing from all of my coaches is that sports teach character. After playing competitively all over the country and seeing how everyone conducts themselves, I would have to disagree with my coaches. Sports don’t teach character, they show you what kind of character you have.
You see, when you are playing basketball and are under pressure, it’s a close game and the referee makes a call against you, how are you going to respond? For many, they fly off the handle (*cough* Draymond Green *cough*) and lose their cool. When push comes to shove, have you built up your mental toughness to withstand extreme stress and pressures?
Now, let’s apply that principle to real life. COVID-19 is that extreme pressure. You can’t work. You are stuck at home. You don’t know how to pay your bills. You don’t know what the future holds. You see your Constitutional rights being taken away. How are you responding?
Who you are in a crisis is in direct correlation with who you are when times are good. As an athlete, I trained and prepared my body and mind for competition. I literally worked out at least 6 hours every day. My daily schedule would be to wake up early and go to the gym to practice my fundamentals for two hours, then I’d get my school work done, go back to the gym to Lyft weights and workout for a couple hours, and then I’d return back to the gym to play pickup games for a couple hours. I did that every day for years on end. This allowed me to have a level of mental and physical toughness to where I didn’t get rattled when being faced with intense pressure, such as a national championship game or the state 3 point contest. My extensive preparation off the court directly correlated with how I performed on the court.
How does this play out in your life? How have you been preparing off the court? Have you been reading your Bible and praying? Have you been working on becoming a better person, a better follower of Christ, a smarter businessperson?
Many Americans are lulled into a sense of security during good times… that’s natural for us all to do. However, what you do on your own time when times are good tells us who you will be when crunch time comes. If you prepare yourself to be the best, strongest and most faithful Christian you can be, when our world falls apart around us, we’ll be grounded in our trust in the Sovereignty of God.
If you are continually trying to grow as a person and as a believer, you will be prepared for times like this.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. - Matthew 6:25-34