Playing to Please Others
Sports have played a significant role in my life for as long as I can remember. My parents introduced me, starting at a young age, to nearly every sport out there. I tried a lot of them, liked a few of them, and loved one of them. My passion was volleyball. I began playing competitively in the fourth grade, and continued throughout my high school years. It wasn’t until my senior year that the thought of college volleyball ever crossed my mind. However, I wasn’t sure if that was what I really wanted. I loved the sport, but I had a lot of doubts and uncertainty of whether or not I wanted to pursue my volleyball career at the next level. Yet, despite these emotions, I decided to give it a try.
I committed and signed to play volleyball for Minot State University. Shortly into the season, I began to realize that I was striving to find my significance in my performance. I wanted my family, friends, and fans to see how much I was achieving at the collegiate level. I was no longer playing the game I once loved, but rather I was playing to please others. I thought that if I was the best player on the team, or if I put up the best stats, the people around me would be so proud, and ultimately I would be happy. But, why then, did I feel so empty?
It wasn’t until after I quit the team, transferred schools, and began attending a Christian organization that I was reminded of God’s love for me; He sent his one and only son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross so that I would be forgiven of my sins, and have the opportunity to join in an eternal relationship with him. You see, I had made volleyball an idol in my life. I allowed my success in a sport to define my worth, and I longed for it to fill the emptiness I was experiencing. When I didn’t find this fulfillment, I felt incomplete. It was then that I finally found what was missing, and that something was Jesus Christ.
I realize now that my worth is not found in my performance, but in Him alone. He promises to love me for who I am, not for what I do. When my goals fit with His plans, He will help me achieve them; if my goals are contrary to His will, He will gradually change the desires of my heart.