Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We know the fruits of the Spirit. But we also know there’s a human tendency to keep God in a box, to keep Him in a little corner of our lives instead of seeing His presence as it is: everywhere, seeking out every nook and cranny of our lives so we can be God-filled and God-centered people.
As athletes then, how are the fruits of the Spirit in us? How can we manifest those in the game?
Along with keeping God in a box, there’s a human tendency to look at a giant task and say “Nope, nevermind” instead of seeing the giant pile for what it is: made up of lots of little piles. You can break down any undertaking into smaller steps. Likewise, with the fruits of the Spirit, we can see that long list that seems to make up a perfect person and we say “Well, I can never do that.” But we can! God only wants us to try.
We can try it one element at a time. The next time you’re at a practice or playing a game, pick one from the list, like faithfulness. Ask yourself: “How can I show faithfulness in this practice session?” Is it by doing what the coach asks without complaining? Is it by not leaving early? Is it by showing respect to your teammates?
Next time, you can pick another, like patience. See what happens when everything doesn’t have to happen right now and you live in the moment and in God’s presence.
If you keep practicing the fruits of the Spirit, they will continue to grow in you. The Holy Spirit is in you, just waiting for you to pick those God-given qualities up and use them.