Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly Wednesday blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of spirituality and sport.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
“I am very emotional because the people of Senegal have wanted this trophy for 60 years.”-Senegal Coach, Aliou Cisse [Reported by Rob Stevens, BBC Sport Africa, February 7, 2022]
The courage to bounce back. This is what true champions are made of. Sadio Mane went from villain to hero in 120 minutes. He missed a penalty that could have given his country, Senegal, a precious first half lead against Egypt, but then he bravely stepped up to score the winning penalty just over one hour later. Brilliant stuff.
The strength to be patient in difficult times. Here is where the character of leaders gets refined. Senegal’s coach, Aliou Cisse, himself missed a penalty as a player for Senegal in the 2002 final of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Senegal lost then and again in the 2019 championship game. This why their 2022 AFCON victory tastes so good. It is a story of courage, patience and strength coming together in adversity.
Trials and tribulations are apodictic in this short life that we live. We are guaranteed to face problems, to have difficult relationships and to battle with our own human limitations. Challenges are inevitable and often beyond our control. Yet, we remain in the driver’s seat when it comes to our response.
The apostle Paul cited above urged his audience to couple joy with hope, patience with trials and consistency with prayer. This is excellent advice that transcends the life of a spiritual community. As you think about your future, be hopeful. When hardship comes your way, be patient and refrain from bitter complaints. The backdrop to all of this, however, must be humble prayer with an unwavering trust in the sovereignty and timing of God.
Patience will bear fruit at just the right time. Your part is to stay in the game.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.