If you’ve ever tried making New Year’s resolutions, you’ve probably learned like 92% of the rest of the “resolution makers” that they don’t actually help. If we have any wisdom at all, we will act on the reality that small, or sometimes drastic, incremental changes we need to adjust the trajectory of our lifestyles are much more effective than simply making declarations of resolve.
This is no different for the Christian Sportsman. If all we manage to do over the course of a year is coast, we may finish the “race”, but not the way God has called us. I don’t want to be the same bow hunter next season that I am this season. I want to be better. I don’t want to have the same or less understanding of God’s word this time next year either. I want to go deeper and know him more.
An Honest Assessment is a Solid Baseline
A few months ago, I was invited to a new workout facility in the St. Louis area. It was eye opening. The new facility was everything I could have dreamed of. There was a 50 yard turf surface for warm-ups and cool downs. All of the equipment was brand new. It was perfect for a guy like me who needed to experience a legit workout.
I don’t consider myself in terrible physical shape. After all, I have to keep in shape enough to drag deer in the fall and hike for turkeys in the spring. But when I got only a few minutes into the warm-up with my friend and the trainer, I was suddenly hit with a very harsh reality. I was out of shape in an embarrassing way.
On my way home that morning, my mind began to race. What about the other categories of life? Are they out of shape too?
There are four primary categories I want every person reading this to take an honest look at. They are the physical, spiritual, emotional, and relational pillars of who we are. God’s word speaks to each of their enormous values individually. If we want to grow and make an impact on the world around us, it would benefit us greatly to begin making the incremental changes we need to right now.
Baselines are Only the Beginning
If it weren’t for the workout I had that day, I may never have found my fitness “base-line”. From there, I had a place to start. No matter what column you may be examining through this assessment, understand that you are not doing this to shame yourself, but to provide yourself a place to begin.
I once heard a very well respected pastor say that about once per year, he would sit down and write out everything he knew about the Gospel. It was a test for himself to check for growth. I’ve encountered many Christians, even myself, that have gone through seasons of life where evidence of spiritual growth is hard to find. I’ve encountered Christians, again like myself, who don’t believe physical care is of any value and they allow themselves to slip into sinful patterns of gluttony and slothfulness. Relationships are also of incredible importance to God, so much that he sent Jesus to reconcile ours to Him. They ought to be important to us as well. Emotionally, this is perhaps the most difficult, we often ignore our inability to experience good emotion toward those we love and God himself. Why would we risk our health in any of these areas?
Why Are We Talking About This?
When I began JCS in 2015, I wanted to provide something more than another “hook and bullet” Pinterest resource. Instead, I wanted it to be truly useful to sportsmen (and women of course). What I’ve discovered over the years is that Christian Sportsmen need care. We need someone to call attention to our spiritual conditions. We need someone to help us grow.
We also need to kick off our year the right way. Click here to begin taking the Printable JCS Christian Sportsman Wellness Profile.