Today my lovely husband Philip is guest blogging. Be encouraged to pursue all that God has made and planned for you to be as you read his thoughts today.
As I write this I am watching my eldest son, Ben, train with his soccer team. Ben was selected to play for an under 15 NPL team, the highest level club team. He has been training for a couple of months. Today was the first day of training for those in the second and third divisions.
As I watched Ben and his first division teammates train I noticed that they had an intensity and purpose to their training. They all desire to be the best, and hopefully go on to national and international representation. When I looked across at the lower divisions, there was not the same and intensity. Some of the second division players had good skills, but were not as fit, or willing to push themselves, and they didn’t have the same desire and commitment in their training as the first division players.
This had me thinking about life. As a trainer, personal coach and pastor I have met some very talented and gifted people. Yet the gifted and talented do not always shine. I have seen some people with extraordinary talent in certain areas walk away from using and developing their gift because there was too much work involved. I can recall an extraordinary musician leaving a music school because there was a mix up when they enrolled. I have seen a brilliant mathematician (averaging 97%) leave higher education because it was too much work. Just as at our son’s soccer training, I have seen talented sports people leave sport because they didn’t want to put in the effort to train.
Talent is not the answer to achieving in life. Being gifted is not a guarantee of becoming who you were made to be. Every body has a God given dream inside them. But having a dream and being gifted and talented isn’t enough. We need to understand that there is also a price to pay to be who God made us to be.
Ben decided he wanted to be the best player he could, so he started training. He wanted to play at the highest level, so at the end of last season when everybody else his age was winding down Ben started a running and exercise routine. When many boys his age were laying on the couch over Christmas watching TV, Ben was working on his ball skills.
To achieve the dream that is inside us takes dedication, sacrifice and commitment. Talent and gifting may get us started, but it is character, commitment and sacrifice that will achieve the goal.
No doubt there will be setbacks and disappointments. The first club Ben tried out for already had their roster so they said no. He tried other teams and they were also already full. But Ben held on to his dream and kept training, thinking he would be ready when trials came up in a year’s time. However the unexpected happened. One of the teams suddenly had four spots open up and because Ben had paid the price and kept training he was ready, and was selected. He didn’t let the disappointments keep him from his dream. He kept preparing himself in readiness. This is the commitment, dedication and sacrifice needed to fulfil our dreams, even when it looks like it can’t and won’t happen.
From the sidelines people may think he was just in the right place at the right time. Yes, he was. But he was also ready because of the work he had done to take advantage of the opportunity. If he had stopped training he would not have been fit enough or skilled enough to be selected. Several boys missed out because they couldn’t keep up – they weren’t fit enough.
What is your dream? What would you like to achieve? Are you putting in the time and effort to position yourself to achieve it? If the dream is worth it then there is sacrifice involved. It may mean not buying items you want because you are saving for a house. It may mean having to study at night after work to get the job you desire. It may mean getting up earlier in the morning to exercise to become fit and healthy.
Everything has a price. Will you stand out from the crowd and pay the price, or will you settle and probably regret it. The choice is ours. No one said it would be easy, but when we achieve the goal, the sacrifice is forgotten, and we enjoy the achievement.
Make a decision today. Write down your goal. Work out the next step to achieving it and go for it! Make the commitment, decide you will overcome the setbacks, push forward and attain the prize.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” (1 Corinthians 9:24)