Welcome back! And stand firm in Christ

By John Herndon, 110forChrist.com

Welcome back!

School is now back in session everywhere after the Christmas break — some went back last Wednesday or Thursday but others waited until today, Jan. 7, to open the textbooks again. So, whenever you had to get up early again, welcome back.

And welcome back to 110forChrist.com.  I launched this site over a year ago, then just after I did real life happened and we weren’t able to do nearly as much as we had hoped. However, after getting so much encouragement to continue this work, here we are again. I have just retired from The Anderson News, which should allow more work here for 110forChrist.com. We have some great interviews — at least I think they are — lined up in January. Check back for them.

It’s early January. It’s a time of fresh starts and resolutions. For many people that involves losing weight or working out every day. As for me, my fresh start is a renewed emphasis on reading the Word of God. Sometimes it can be so easy to neglect that because we get so busy with everyday life that we forget to feed on His Word in the Bible.

The renewal is real in sports too.

For high school athletes, there are many life events and decisions ahead. For the basketball player, the season is half over with only six weeks left in the regular season. For the senior, it means six more weeks, then embarking on March Madness, where every game could be the last in the school uniform or in a career.

It’s a time when baseball players are already working on their games for a season that begins in March. It’s a time when football players get back in the weight room to get ready for the 2019 season, even though it doesn’t kick off for over seven months. The list could go on and on and on.

For seniors, college or careers await. Many are still making decisions about what to do with their lives after receiving their diplomas. I am going through that in my house right now as my daughter, a senior, is sorting out more information than we can process.

For athletes, there is a decision on whether to pursue playing a sport in college and, if so, what college would be the best fit for one’s ability and aspirations.

All the while, students are reminded to not let their academics suffer. It’s good advice because it’s easy to be overwhelmed by what seems to be an unending stream of postcards, letters and information packets in the mailbox.

It’s great to evaluate athletic options, especially if someone has a dream of playing big-time sports or playing professionally. But too often, people forget the most important aspect of life, our walk with God.

The athletic angle of college is very important if one wants to play beyond the high school level. Finding a fit with a coaching staff and family wishes has to be part of the decision.

The academic part of the equation is why someone should go to college in the first place, obviously. Someone looking for a career in business wants to find a school with a respected business program. Someone aspiring to be an engineer isn’t going to study fine arts. That’s obvious. And before one gets to college, he can’t coast through high school and expect to be successful.

But neither are the most important thing in life. Where is your walk with Christ? What is your impact on the world?

You see, athletic careers end for many reasons. Writing sports for 34 years, I could not begin to tell you the number of ways I have seen athletic careers come to an end.

Career goals change too. Depending on the field of study and the body of research the estimates range from 20 to 50 percent of college students change their majors. Another study says that 37.5 percent of college student change schools and of that number, 45 percent change schools more than once.

That’s not saying it’s right or wrong. It’s just life and we change.

But our relationship with Christ has to be there through everything. In Matthew 16:26, Jesus said, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”

And the last thing Matthew recorded Jesus as saying to his disciples as they went into the world was, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

My prayer is that all people stand firm in Christ in all things. And when looking at a college, make sure that one’s spiritual life can be fed, whether on campus, in a student fellowship or in a local church. It’s the foundation for real living in Christ.

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