“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” — 2 Timothy 1:7
The Winter Olympics are upon us, and with that comes a chance to watch and enjoy countless sporting events that we rarely can view outside this context every four years. Recently, as I was thinking about this, I was picturing all the different sports I would get to see, and I realized something about the specific events that defy gravity (ski jumping, snowboard halfpipe, aerial skiing, etc.).
Competitors in these sports often talk about the fact that, when you go to perform a trick, there are two things above all else that you need to remember:
First, always take momentum into your trick or jump. If you don’t get the proper speed going in, you will not be able to complete the move and you will increase your chances of crashing. I think the same could be said about life — if we don’t head into the challenges we face with proper spiritual, emotional, mental and physical momentum, our ability to survive and thrive in them will be compromised. We have to make sure we enter any trial or obstacle from a position of strength, or it will get the better of us.
Second, these athletes say that once you’re off the ground in mid-trick, amongst all the spinning and twisting, you have to spot the ground. As you come out of your move, you need to have your eyes find the ground so your body will be able to land properly. You need to target where you want to come down so you can judge when to come out of your trick and start your descent. Misjudge your landing, and you could cause serious injury to yourself or, at the very least, land awkwardly.
I think both you and I could agree that, sometimes, life feels like we’re in one of these risky sports where we’re spinning and falling and everything is swirling, and we’re saying a prayer that we come out intact. When these moments happen, we need to learn how to spot the ground — to aim for the sure and solid place and to adjust ourselves in the midst of all the twisting so that we land safely on our feet, regardless of what has happened.
The Bible assures us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear” but has placed within us the spirit of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:17, NKJV). This includes the ability to recall all the truths, all the promises, all the characteristics about God that He’s reminded us over and over — to turn all those into that momentum we spoke of earlier and head into the spinning with confidence, being able to locate and aim for what will ground you in the fall on the way down.
Just as even the greatest competitors in these sports can’t guarantee a clean run, we can’t guarantee an adversity-free life. But we can employ these truths to help us survive it better and perhaps prevent a few crashes along the way.
— Katherine Singer
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