Athlete, work for Jesus


Athlete, work for Jesus

Tom Petersburg

Colossians 3:23 (NASB)

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.

On an early summer morning, a city dump truck came down the opposite side of my street picking up tree branches from a violent weekend storm. I didn’t have my branches on the curb yet, so I asked the young worker how soon he would be coming back down my side of the street. With a friendly reply he said he would continue loading the pile next to his truck, but he would take my branches right then. 

When I returned dragging branches, I noticed the Bible reference Col. 3:23 in four-inch red letters scrawled across his bright yellow safety vest. 

You know the verse: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23). When I pointed to his vest and said, “I assume you are a Christ-follower,” this NFL-sized guy nodded and broke into a smile that could have lit up a skyscraper.

That day was long and hot on the street. The neighbors were grateful the debris was cleared, but no one lined the street to cheer him on. He would have had much more fun slamming dunks in a full basketball arena, or scoring a touchdown in a raucous stadium. He was happy with an audience of One. God must have loved seeing it throughout the day.

I have thought a lot about this guy. This is the stuff of everyday faith.

The same thing can show up in the locker room or the weight room. Who picks up the locker room litter? Who encourages the teammate who lost a grandparent this week? Who visits a teammate in the hospital, or just offers a ride to an appointment? Who stays on the field after practice to help a third-stringer run some routes?

It is a lot easier to do your work heartily when you enjoy your audience of One.

Today’s devotional is one of five this week on “Everyday Faith” by Tom Petersburg.


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