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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


Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27

You know the saying: “why pray when you can worry?”

If you have time read Matthew 6:25-34. In this passage Jesus, challenging us about our priorities, singles out food, drink and clothes as sources of worry. For most of us there is no need to worry about food and drink as we are unlikely to go short of a meal.

What are the things we worry about – our career, our life goals, perhaps? In sport the career is very short. If you are in an Olympic sport you will be lucky to have more than two Olympics when you are at your peak. This adds a pressure that is not there in a career than can last 40 years.

Mischievously, I wondered if “why do you worry about clothes?” should read “why do you worry about which sponsor’s logo is on your clothes?”

Most athletes worry a bit about competition. That is inevitable. It is part of the preparation process in the build-up, getting yourself into the mindset to perform your best. However, panic and anxiety over a longer period is not healthy. Jesus gives the answer to worry: Your father knows the things you need (verse 32). Trusting God in the situations which we find difficult is a challenge. However, if we believe what Jesus says that God knows our needs – and will provide for us, it will help use to trust more and worry less.

Let us approach the next competition knowing that God is in control and that worry will not make us compete better.

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