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The Season of Sacrifice

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

The Lenten season, which takes place in the weeks leading up to Easter, is traditionally a time of reflection and self-discipline for Christians around the world. As an elite swimmer, you can draw inspiration from the metaphor of the Lenten season to help you overcome discouragement and achieve a championship moment.

During Lent, many Christians give up something that they enjoy or engage in an act of self-discipline, such as fasting or daily prayer. This sacrifice and self-discipline are meant to bring them closer to God and help them reflect on the deeper meaning of their faith.

As an elite swimmer, you can utilize this same approach to your training and performance. Just as a Christian may sacrifice something during Lent to become closer to God, you can sacrifice something in your preparation to becoming a better swimmer.

For example, you may sacrifice some of your free time to train more consistently or give up certain foods to improve your diet and fuel your body better for performance. In fact, you might have to sacrifice some of your time with your family members, significant others and friends as you lead into your championship moment. You can sacrifice social media to help improve your mental well-being and mood.

Lent is also a time of hope and renewal. Christians believe that the season of Lent leads to the celebration of Easter, which represents new life and a fresh start.

As an elite swimmer, you too, can also draw hope and renewal. If you have been discouraged by slow times or a feeling of defeat, use this time to reflect on your training and identify areas where you can improve. With self-discipline and sacrifice, you can renew your focus and commitment to your goals, and work towards achieving a championship moment.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27, says:

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So, I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified."

This scripture emphasizes the importance of self-discipline, sacrifice, and perseverance in achieving a goal. It compares the Christian life to a race, where runners must exercise self-control and discipline to obtain the prize. Similarly, an elite swimmer must exercise self-discipline and make sacrifices in order to achieve success in their sport.

The scripture also acknowledges that success in the athletic world is temporary and "perishable," but the rewards of the Christian life are "imperishable." This can remind elite swimmers to keep their goals in perspective and to remember the deeper meaning behind their training and competition.

It's possible that you need revival in your life. You may be sensing that certain aspects of yourself are fading, and your happiness is slipping away. Take heart, because God specializes in reviving our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Don't give up on your journey, keep pushing forward. Keep swimming. Keep sacrificing.

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