Summer 2024

Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Friday, July 31

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” — Mark 12:30-31


Have you ever heard the acronym for K.I.S.S? It has been a frequent term used in my life for years, standing for “Keep it Simple Sweetie.” Throughout my playing career, there were countless times that I overcomplicated things, but I was taught to regain focus by bringing my mindset back to the basics. See ball, hit ball.

Jesus, Son of God, walked the earth as both human and God. He knows what it is like to be tempted by distraction, to have a busy schedule, to have a crowd constantly begging for attention, to be in pain, to be wrongly accused, etc. Yet, amidst all the worldly events, His instructions were simple: Love the Lord your God with everything you have, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Sometimes, I wrongfully strive to be a good Christian by working my way to Heaven. The fact of the matter is Jesus died so we can live. It is faith in Christ that produces Holy fruit, not the other way around. When I first spend time with the Lord, I can then overflow with love, patience, kindness, etc. The vertical relationship is crucial before I can accomplish Step 2, which is love thy neighbor.

What seemed to be my biggest downfall as an athlete was giving in to the urge of “trying to do too much.” When I instead trusted in my preparation and let the game come to me, that is when my God-given talent thrived. So now, relating that to life, trying to “will” my way to Heaven is what causes actual suffering in my relationship with God and people. When I am tuned in and aligned with God, it becomes my nature to love others well.

Jesus, the only perfect Life Coach, teaches the fundamentals. To enhance the lives around us, we must first have a solid foundation. Our ultimate strength is from God. Once we tap into that Holy power, we can overflow with Christ’s love. When life gets overwhelming and chaotic, come back to the fundamentals. There, within the two commandments, we find our true purpose.

— Karlie Smith

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