Following these instructions, the jailer put Paul and Silas in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and prisoners were listening to them. ~ Acts 16:24-25
Another road trip up to to colder weather, through a NorEaster storm no less. And oh, it’s Thanksgiving, in case you forgot.
Traveling and wrestling on the holidays is always tough; making weight, competing, missing family. I never liked it when I was competing. In fact, it felt a lot like being in a prison. Like Paul and Silas.
Paul and Silas were missionaries, doing the work they were called to be God. And it eventually landed them in prison…and how did they respond? With praying and singing. With thanksgiving and praise.
Here’s the thing: God shows us the opportunities for joy, even in the most unexpected places. Yeah, maybe you’re not with your family, but you’re with your teammates. You’re competing, doing something that if you think about it, you really love. And when you think about those things, you start to realize that jail….well, it really isn’t a jail at all. You’re still surrounded by friends and family. They just look different.
I’ll tell you what: I still remember those holiday tournaments. But you know what I remember? Getting closer with my teammates, who were going through the same thing. Playing cards games on the bus. Learning things about myself through competition that had I not done it, I would’ve never learned or experienced. And frankly, considering what a short period of my life competing was….I cherish it, even though it meant missing some time with family.
I hope God shows you the joy this weekend, and it brings you a sense of thanksgiving…this weekend, and every day.