The Process to the Promise: Reflections from NFL Training Camp
Training camp wrapped recently for NFL teams all over the country. And the end of what many of us refer to as six weeks of Hell. It’s these brutal days that determine the direction of our season where what we put in, we get out. Every year of the NFL, I can count on training camp to come around. And because I know that it’s preparing me for the future, I can handle the pressure and the pain.
But what happens when a painful process pops up unexpectedly? If you’re reading this you’re either in a storm, coming out of one, or heading toward one. That’s life, but the way we manage ourselves in our process might look different if we understood there was a promise on the other side.
I don’t want to step into the places God has called me unprepared.
I love the gospels and I recently read the story in Matthew 4 of Jesus going into the desert to fast for 40 days and nights. At the beginning of that passage, it says, “The Spirit led him out into the wilderness.” Led Him? Yes. The Spirit of God led Jesus into the wilderness. God wasn’t teasing Jesus or just showing off the Godliness of Jesus, He was preparing Him. This time in the wilderness would launch Jesus into His public ministry, this was the beginning of His season.
40 days and nights in the wilderness might feel like where you are.
You might feel like there’s no hope in sight,
like you’re tired of the hand you’ve been dealt,
like you’re isolated and alone.
Yet, we can hang onto what we know was true of Jesus in his desert season: this was part of the process. This prep season was the process that led Him to the promise. And we actually benefit from that even more. Jesus’ process was leading him to our promise, His season ended with Him going to the cross to die and take our sins, to unload our burdens.
Jesus’ process was leading him to our promise.
NFL training camp feels like death. We condition our bodies to elevate our minds to think on things higher than the immediate. But when any player stands on the field in the Fall, it’s going to be worth it. I don’t want to step into the places God has called me unprepared. So, instead of buckling in the process, I’ll trust that I’m on my way to the promise.
What promise are you heading for? Leave it in the comments!