Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;
my rock and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
who subdues the peoples under me.
O LORD, what are human beings that you regard them,
or mortals that you think of them?
They are like a breath; their days are like a passing shadow.
~ Psalm 144:1-4
I found this Psalm my sophomore year of college. At the time I had a whole lot of anxiety over the fact that I felt like I was never really prepared for tournaments and competition: I was injured and hadn’t been able to train enough. My shot defense was weak. I hadn’t been able to get out from bottom the whole week of practice. I wasn’t the #1 guy on the depth chart.
Then I started to realize that the truth was, on my own I would never truly be prepared. I’ve found that to be true in life as well: there’s just not enough time, even if I did everything 100% right all of the time. That’s an unattainable standard.
However, reading this Psalm reminds us that it is God who has prepared us, and continues to prepare us for each new challenge of competition. God has given us the gifts, abilities, and the grace to use them with confidence. On our own efforts, we are nothing, as the Psalmist says, we are like a breath; a passing shadow. But with God, we are reminded we have the capacity to do amazing things, if we can find the courage to trust that God has prepared us sufficiently for each moment set before us – like the weekend of competition before you.