It was the moment that I had dreaded. The one that I knew would happen, but had hoped to never repeat. Anger, disappointment, and frustration flashed through my mind as my Irish fuse burned short. Here I was again, reaching into the goal net and pulling a lacrosse ball out of it.
I picked up the ball with my well-worn gloves, hole-ridden from years of use, and gathered my thoughts as I tossed it back to the referee; watching the ball rise in the air as it left my hand and fall as the referee caught it. My goal was clear, to never be scored on. While I could have made excuses, blamed my teammates, or even argued with the referee, I chose this precious time to learn from my mistake and realign my mindset.
As the referee filled his lungs to blow the whistle and restart play, I also took a deep breath and reminded myself that the most important shot that I would ever face was coming soon… the next one! While I could not change what happened in the past, the slate was wiped clean for the future.
As I sit here typing this as a forgiven sinner, I am reminded of the power of confessing our sins to God and others. As Christians, our sins are forgiven, and we can have a fresh beginning through the Lord’s great mercy and grace.
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.1 John 1:9 (NLT)
Confessing is essential for maintaining healthy relationships, restoring those we have hurt, and forging a strong connection with God. Recently, I have found myself acting selfishly and carrying around a poor attitude. If I denied my actions and blamed others around me for my own sin, I would have no resolve over the conflict in my life. Instead, I needed to go to the Lord himself and ask for his forgiveness. It is only when I draw near to God and confess my sins that I can experience a clean slate that is free from self-denial or guilt. I am thankful God chooses to forget my sins as He forgives me. To reach my full potential it was important that I learn from my mistakes, and focus on the next save.
The time between my failed save and the play restarting was a powerful moment for me many years ago. Today, I pray that God will continue to help me find more moments when I can RESET my heart, ask for his forgiveness, and press on desiring to live a life that focuses on pleasing Him.
Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.
More information can be found at FCA.org.