Risk taking is a manly trait that is deeply embedded in our DNA. From a young age, we as men like to push the envelope. We want to go faster, jump higher and test our personal limits. I remember those feelings when I was growing up and now, I get to watch it first-hand being the father of two young boys. Being average was never something we dreamed about. We wanted to be strong and powerful men who would change the world someday. Not some guy who settled for second best. Regardless of what you currently do for a living, I believe that God is calling you to resurrect the passion He put in your heart and act on it. If you do, it will change your life and the lives of so many others.
One night, after feeding the five thousand, Jesus went up on a mountain to pray alone. When He was finished, Jesus walked out on the sea towards the boat that His disciples were in. At first, they were fearful and thought He was a ghost. After Jesus spoke to them, Peter answered and said, “If it is You, command me to come to you on the water.” Peter had this unshakeable confidence that if God called him to do it, that it would happen. Science tells us that walking on top of the water is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Peter walked on the sea and only started to sink when he got distracted by the storm around him and took his eyes off Jesus.
When you believe deeply in something and feel a calling on your life, amazing things transpire when you take steps towards it. There is a supernatural pull towards the calling that acts like a magnet and attracts what you need to fulfill it. God provides the people and resources as you walk within His will. In order to accomplish what you are setting out to do you will need wisdom, faith, and a strong work ethic. In addition, I believe there are three main things that are required on your end during this quest: Sacrifice, Discipline and Patience.
There are times when you need to give something up in order to receive greater things in life. This may require you to prune people, habits and personal items that you relied or focused on in the past. These things are keeping you from focusing on what God’s plan is for your life. If you don’t remove them, God tends to do it for you. Relationships that you once valued have now gone by the wayside. This is not to punish you or to hurt anyone involved. It simply helps you target on what needs to get done. Those relationships may return and if they do, they will be stronger and healthier.
Sacrifice always precedes success. I am sure that most of us have heard the phrase regarding taking one step back, so you can go two steps forward. While this is not always the case, it is a time where we reflect on what we are doing. Is this working? Is there a better way? Some will say, that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I get that and sometimes it is true. However, I believe that we need to continue to educate ourselves in our craft and investigate the opportunities to do it better. That is the heart of innovation, which is one of the driving points of our society.
My background is one that is heavily saturated in faith and athletics. I grew up Catholic and my parents did a good job of providing me with a strong foundation in Christ. I knew from a young age that God called me to be one of His servants and to live a life that is worthy of Him. My desire to become a professional baseball player began to blossom when I was ten years old. At that point I made the decision to be an athlete who would be a great example of Christ to others. It was not just about playing the game. I wanted to use the platform that God provided for me to be Christ-like for others.
Over the past 46 years I have made my share of mistakes, but God still calls me his own. The platform as a Major League player didn’t come to fruition, but my influence is still great in the baseball community. I want to be better in all areas of my life so I can help others. What gets frustrating is how disciplined I am in certain areas of my life like exercise and nutrition, yet I falter in controlling my tongue and the ensuing anger that follows. The success in the former shows me that I can improve on the latter. I am trying to be the absolute best version of myself, so I can lead my family well and be a great example to everyone I cross paths with.
“No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified from the prize.”1 Corinthians 9:27 NIV
I just love God’s timing, don’t you? People say that “patience is a virtue”. Well tell yourself that when the cow plop is hitting the fan. Being in the middle of a storm or life crisis is not so fun. We may call out to God and wonder why He doesn’t answer. Or maybe He does, and we are so focused on the storm, we don’t hear that soft quiet voice amongst the thunderclaps and lightning strikes that are distracting us. It may come down to what we have our eyes set on. Is it Christ, or the storm itself?
We need to develop the ability to have a long-term view. Many of us get so focused on the here and now, that we lack vision and perspective at times. Learning to understand that God’s timing is always perfect is a mature skill that I pray we all develop. When we look back on the difficult times in our lives, we notice how God gave us the answers we needed, when we needed them. If we exit the storm too early, we don’t learn the lessons that God has for us to grow as individuals. He wants us to mature in our faith so we can serve others better. Remember that this life is not just about us. I believe we are all called to be others minded.
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trail, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”James 1:12 BSB
Here are some things to think about this week and apply to your life:
- Pray about the things that God needs to prune from your life and act on them.
- Be honest with yourself and identify weaknesses in your life that you need to practice more discipline in.
- Trust in God’s timing and focus on what He is teaching you through your situation.
- Surrender your situation to God when you know you have gone as far as you can. Leave the rest up to Him.
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