Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Wednesday, May 8, 2019

“The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.” — Psalm 118:24

And …We’re Off!

The start of any sports event is filled with excitement and anticipation. Whether you’re an athlete, a coach or a die-hard fan, you often find that your pulse has quickened, and those unmistakable butterflies are fluttering away in your stomach in those moments just before the event commences.

Think about the beginning action of each of these sports:

— Football: kickoff
— Baseball: first pitch
— Basketball: opening tip
— Hockey: puck drop
— Soccer: kickoff or “taking the kickoff”
— NASCAR: first lap followed by the green flag
— Lacrosse: face-off

Many coaches and athletes believe the butterflies that materialize on the mound, batter’s box, mid-court, the backfield, center ice or behind the wheel are a sign of weakness. I disagree.

I once heard someone say that butterflies are a great thing! They signify that it means something to you. Not having a little anxiety and a few butterflies is likely a sign that you may be indifferent to your performance or the outcome of the game.

As I write this, I must admit that I am not  sure how it will be received, or exactly what God has planned for this devotional. For a while, I’ve been talking with the Lord about a passion I have to help guys develop a more consistent walk with Him by leveraging a collective love of sports and competition.

And this is the beginning. This is the first pitch. The kickoff. The face-off. The green flag.

I found a verse that really has spoken to me about this sense of anticipation when we begin to move forward with something God has placed on our hearts:

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” — Proverbs 13:12 (ESV)

God gives each of us desires, and He doesn’t want us to rest on our laurels and delay in receiving the fruits and rewards of our willingness to step out in faith. Whether it’s reaching higher, working harder or living more generously, I encourage you to take a small step forward in faith, and see what happens with God in the equation.

That’s what I’m doing here. And it must mean something. I have butterflies.

— C.A. Phillips, NorthStar Church, Kennesaw, Ga.

If you would like to submit a reader devotional, please email all submissions to

Click here for all Sports Spectrum Daily Devotionals