Sport Principle 20: Soar with your strengths

About the Sport Principle

There are different theories about how we acquire sporting skills. Some sports, such as swimming, are known as early specialisation sports, in other words, to achieve elite-level success, the earlier a child can start, the better. Other sports, such as some combat sports, are arguably later specialisation sports, and children who would like to specialise in them one day would be well advised to get a broad base of sporting skills into their repertoire first, including ball-skills sports which will improve broad skill areas such as accuracy, flexibility and timing, etc. Could the same be said about our lives?

Application to Life

The title above is also the title of a great book by Donald Clifton and Paula Nelson. Read it if you ever get the chance. In it, they assert with Albert Einstein that: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid!” Just like the fish in that analogy, there is something for every one of us that we are brilliant at, for which we could stand as number 1 at the top of a random sample of 10,000 of the population in descending rank order of how good at that particular thing you are! The problem is that, just like the fish with his swimming, that ‘thing’ can sometimes be almost so obvious that, unless it is pointed out for you (perhaps by you reading this blog) it is really easy to miss! Fish don’t feel wet (from their own point of view) nor do they realise how good they are at swimming! In life, what are you really good at? And what do you enjoy doing the most? These are important, and closely related questions. What we enjoy, usually we excel at. Enjoyment and progress are always travelling companions. They come as a pair. This makes sense when we consider that our Creator is the one who gives us the desires of our hearts. He is the one who “knit us together in our mother’s womb” and gave us our unique DNA code. He wired us internally and knows us better than we know ourselves! If you are struggling to find your purpose, your ‘specialisation sport’ as it were, you could do a lot worse than looking to what God made you good at. Start there. You won’t be far away from the bullseye of God’s will for your life. And in the meantime, as you perhaps tread water and wait for something of clarity and reasoning to come into your world in order to build that walkway to the next level of God’s plan for your life, continue to build as broad a base and as wide a repertoire of ‘life skills’ as you can: Deliberately practice those ‘life essentials’ such as kindness, compassion and love – as much as humanly possible – at any and every opportunity. No matter what your age, the great news is that ‘success’ in God’s Kingdom can be every bit as much a ‘late’ as an ‘early’ specialisation ‘sport.’ It’s never too late!

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8

Image Credit: Kea Mowat