Athlete, Here is Restoration
Psalm 51:12 (ESV)
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
All serious athletes want and need two things for long haul living: infusions of joy in the journey and maximum motivation to keep going.
No one keeps climbing without this pair. Performance fades, withers and dies otherwise. It’s inevitable.
Coach John Wooden definitely agreed. The cornerstones of his famous Pyramid of Success reflect this. They are Enthusiasm (expressed joy in what you do) and Industriousness (manifest love of hard work).
If these two are not present and active in your life, you will never reach real, sustained success and peace of mind.
None of us can self-generate an endless stream of personal enthusiasm and industry. Joy and motivation don’t flow endlessly either. We can and will run dry.
The recharge, the refill must come from elsewhere.
That’s why King David, a world-class warrior-athlete himself, prayed Psalm 51:12 out of great brokenness. He knew that restoration of joy and motivation in life comes best from God. Nothing else comes close.
To “restore” literally means to restock, resupply, refill, rebuild.
Like a divine pharmacy, God refills our joy, renews our want to, and never stamps an expiration date. He’s the one who revives, makes new.
(FYI, all these “r” words appear about 500 times in Scripture. That means God is really committed to our restoration and renewal. In fact, the whole Bible should be seen as one big restoration story.)
So let God know you’re broken, beat up, in need of restoration. Confess your emptiness and need of filling. Ask Him for help.
Tell Him you need to feel the joy of His rescue. Ask Him to help your “want to” that needs a clear recharge. Nobody restocks, restores and saves like Him.
Reflect: Is your joy in life at low tide? Is your “want to” for God and life waning? Are your enthusiasm and industriousness levels running low?
A prayer to consider: O God of Hope and Restoration, revive and renew me. Restore my soul just as You promise. I’m in need of a serious refill.
Restock my heart shelves with joy and motivation. Recharge my enthusiasm for everything good and right. And help my “want to.”
It’s been way too inconsistent. Get me up on the Solid Rock, and keep me planted there. I can’t do this without You.
No one else can forgive, cleanse, erase, refill, renew, save me like You. Restore to me the joy of my salvation. And grant me a willing spirit to follow You well.
Psalm 51:12 is my simple, earnest, faithful prayer. By your Spirit, through Christ who strengthens me. Amen.