Athlete, Be Bold


Athlete, Be Bold

Jason Cooper

Psalm 138:3 (NIV)

When I called you, you answered me; You made me bold and stouthearted.

When we were swimming this summer, our six-year-old daughter asked me if she could jump off the diving board into 12-foot-deep water. Of course not! I thought. What if she lands and gets muscle cramps and can’t swim to the side of the pool, does a painful belly flop, or gets scared on the board and turns around? 

I couldn’t trust my fear-based reaction, so I asked my wife what she thought. She said it would be fine. So I stood on the side of the pool, worried. 

As she climbed the ladder, a boy about 10 years old said something to her. She turned around and said something back. Then, she sped down the board, jumped off, and went down into the water. 

I strained my eyes through the waves and ripples, tracking her black and pink swimsuit underwater. Then she popped up and swam to the side like she’d done it a hundred times.

I asked her what the boy said to her. She said, “He told me I wasn’t tall enough to go off the diving board and that I didn’t know how to swim. I told him I could do it, then just ignored him.” I love her audacity. 

One of the Bible verses we sometimes recite at bedtime is, “You made me bold and stouthearted” (Psalm 138:3). 

God made us that way — bold and stouthearted. Even though you might not feel bold. Even though you might not label yourself as daring, God made you audacious. 

By virtue of being made new by God you are bold and stouthearted. That doesn’t necessarily mean you are gregarious or outspoken, it means you are a container of the might God intends for you. 

In sports and on campus, boldness and stoutheartedness comes out in various ways, depending on our personalities and dispositions. There’s the strong quiet type, and there are those who are stronger verbally and speak their minds more readily. 

Each are types of stoutheartedness. And maybe each type has something to learn from the other. But when considering how we interact with our community, we can’t assume someone isn’t being faithful with their talents just because they aren’t doing it our way. 

Our daughter didn’t say much on the diving board. But her actions spoke. They were a form of language. Other times, more words need to be said. 

So for the quiet types, don’t forget we need the outspoken ones. And for the outspoken types, don’t forget we need quiet ones. 

We are serving the same purpose in different ways, and our variance in volume doesn’t mean we aren’t kindred spirits. It doesn’t mean we aren’t bold and stouthearted in our own way.


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