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Photo: Enigma Sport

"God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast and when I run, I feel his pleasure."

Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire

Strong and courageous

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:7-8

I have been reading through Deuteronomy. It has not always been easy going, trying to make sense of all those ancient laws. Then I came across this gem. There are many times in sport when skill alone is not enough – you need to be strong and courageous as well. To put the shift in a tight game. To commit to a risky strategy if that seems your best chance of winning. To run the first half of the race faster – or slower – that you are comfortable with because that is coach’s plan.

But then look at the promise in the second verse: The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. I believe that promise is as true on the field, track, court as anywhere else.

If you are strong and courageous because you know the Lord is with you then there is no need to be afraid or discouraged. Coach Moses prepared Joshua for the next game (or battle) with those words but you can take them for yourself for the coming competition.

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