As a way to continue the conversations in The Biola Hour, we've
invited Becky Mitchell to blog her thoughts after each episode. This is a
response to Episode 52 on sports and identity in Christ. Feel free to interact with Becky's thoughts in the comments below.
From the age of eight, she joined the leagues and began playing softball. The umpires would question her age, her ability to play with the rest of the league. She was met with success and greeted with talent as she pitched. Ta’Tyana Leonard drew a “t” in her pitching circle, earning the respect of the umpire for thinking it was a cross, but she told him it was a t for her own name. Her prideful success had won for a time but then she learned how to play for God.
I sat challenged from the moment she began speaking. But I did not want to share my challenges with anyone. The challenges sat with me as fears as I listened to Leonard talk about success and struggle. Her success was grand, even after she welcomed God onto the field. Still, after seeing her God-given success and my own God-given success, I wondered about God taking my success.
You might say, “My dear, your intentions are wrong.” If only the answer were an easy, “Yes, yes you are right.” I would tell you I do love success and that I have dreams of God using me for big things. But I’d have to ask you for help to see more of my intentions in wanting success. I would tell you I know that success comes from God but I still wonder why everyone doesn’t succeed.
These definitions of success are ones based off the pleasures of the world. Merriam Webster defines it as, “favorable or desired outcome.” Dictionary.com defines it as, “the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one's goals.” So, with goals set afresh and re-aligned to God’s pleasures, success must come is what I hoped to hear Leonard say. But she spoke of the struggle and losses, and how God is there with us in both as well as the wins. Leonard shared of God wanting us to be excellent but did not promise prosperity that God did not promise. She spoke the truth of the Christian life.
Comment below with stories of small and big successes!