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“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” Hebrews 12:11

While watching the Olympians these past few weeks, I have been in awe of their abilities and their focus. We know that they did not get where they are today by just practicing like everyone else. No, they had to train and push themselves beyond the norm; they had to be disciplined.

Although I am not even close to the same level as Olympian athletes, I had (have) a passion for volleyball and was able to play at the collegiate level at College of the Ozarks. After completing my first season of playing, I severely tore my ACL while playing Intramural basketball in March. Volleyball season and training began in August. Once I had my surgery I was looking at a 5 month recovery to be able to begin playing in August. Typically, 6 months is needed for full recovery, but I was determined to give it my all to beat the clock and return to play in the fall.

That summer as I trained with the athletic Physical Therapists I worked with such a focus and determination. It didn’t always feel good and there were several times the trainers were unsure if I would make it back for the fall season, but I had to be disciplined and stay focused on where I wanted to finish. The trainers gave me exercises to perform on my own and I did them faithfully because at the end of this time frame I wanted to have no regrets and to know I had done everything in my power to play in the fall. The discipline I had paid off and I was able to return and play in August.

When I look back on the focus I had as a 19 year old athlete, It makes me pause and think, “If I would put that same energy and discipline into my Christian life, God would have a vessel He could really use.” Hebrews 12:10b says, “but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.” Let us discipline ourselves to listen to the nudging of the Holy Spirit. He is calling us to a place of holiness and righteousness so we can be used by Him to affect those we come in contact with.

Pastor Emily Christenson

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