4,5 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."
Romans 12:4,5 (NIV)
Athlete, you use a lot of resources. You have a cafeteria, strength equipment, gear, coaches, fields, gyms, facilities, funds and programs. Think where you would be without those resources.
You need resources for your sport, and you need resources for your walk with Jesus.
Consider the abundance of resources in the church and outside the church that God has given us to be enriched and edified. People and their works can nurture, encourage and energize us.
Throughout the centuries God has given us many musicians, thinkers, writers, speakers and artists through whom God makes Himself evident.
There is no substitute for a close friend or close-knit community. We need people to lean on. But we can also learn from people we have never met or those who passed away long ago. These people and their works are gifts from above (James 1:17).
I am eagerly awaiting John Mark McMillan’s new album. His last album prompted in me much prayer and worship. Our house is often filled with the sweet songs of All Sons & Daughters.
Hip-hop artists Propaganda and Trip Lee and have come out with a few albums in the last 10 years. They have been companions on my journey.
Just because we look to other humans does not mean we are turning away from God. Turning to others can be a form of turning to God.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “When I go to another believer … I am going to God.”
Let’s face it, we are not experts.
We need the wisdom, experience and perspectives of others. Counsel and guidance from others is essential. We need to see and hear of the faith of others to spur us on. We need songs written by others to help us sing.
We are one part of the body. We were not designed to function on our own. We are interdependent.
Athlete, in order for you to play your sport, you depend on many resources. Walking with Jesus is the same.
God gives us the mouths, ears and minds of others to sharpen us and help us. God gives us Samsung phones, iPhones, earphones and the internet too.
But be aware that many of the resources that can help carry you nearer to Jesus can also take you farther away from Him. Pursue resources that enrich, not ones that destroy.
Surround yourself with people and resources that evoke worship and reflection and inspire action.
Find a writer, thinker, pastor and musician you like. Become a student of their work. Use your resources. They are gifts from God. You have permission to get excited about them.