Athlete, You Are Sidelined but More Useable


Athlete, You Are Sidelined but More Useable

Tom Petersburg

Psalm 37:3 (NASB)

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

A MLB manager who took his team from last place in their division to the World Series twice in three years hung a similar quote in his home — “Bloom where you’re planted, even if it’s in Cleveland.”

God said through the writer of Psalms 37: Trust Me, settle down where you are, cultivate (work at it, give attention to) faithfulness, make good use of your situation.

A team leader in the NFL unloaded his frustration one afternoon. He not only lost playing time from an injury, but felt he lost his position to lead. Throughout his college and pro career, he had based his leadership on his role on the field.

Leadership is easy when “you’re the man,” especially if you win games. Now sidelined, he felt silenced and out of place. He had lost his props.

When you can no longer lead by your position, you can still lead by your presence. You can lead by relationship, character, wisdom and initiative. God uses those sidelined times to expand a leader’s impact on the team.

Albert Einstein once said, “Adversity introduces a man to himself.” Adversity also introduces a man or woman to new opportunities.

Knee surgery relegated a MLB All-Star to several months in the trainer’s room. It was the first major setback of his successful career.

For years he had faithfully led the team ministry. When I asked how rehab was going, he replied, “I had no idea what my teammates went through in there … this injury has made me a better teammate and leader.”

These are the lessons on the sidelines. It is not lost time. God continues to mold and use us, moving us to maturity. Faith is not for avoiding difficulties, but for navigating through them. God is up to good as He refines us for His purposes.

Tom Petersburg  |


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