“Striving to Be Like Christ on and off the Field,” For the Strength of Youth, December. 2022.
When I was growing up, playing soccer brought me confidence and happiness. So it was difficult when my soccer team began losing games. We had a history of winning, but now our confidence as a team was shaken. I also got injured and missed some games and practices. I felt disappointed in myself because I wasn’t performing at the level others expected of me.
One evening before a game, the coaches told me that a teammate would be starting in my place. I wasn’t surprised, but I felt discouraged. This teammate and I competed for the same position and had developed an unspoken and unfriendly rivalry.
As I watched my team struggle, I noticed the teammate playing in my spot get pulled from the game. She walked off the field, looking really disappointed. I felt impressed to talk to her. I approached and offered her some words of encouragement. She was surprised, because we hadn’t been friendly to each other before. As I walked away, I felt joy and peace come over me. From that day on, we weren’t rivals but friends.
I learned that even in soccer, I can strive to follow the Savior’s example. As an athlete, I can’t really control injuries, playing time, wins, or losses. But I can control my attitude and how I treat others. The Savior’s example can always help, and I can choose to follow Him. Becoming a disciple of Christ will always require hard work, sacrifice, and commitment. But when we commit to follow Christ, there is more peace, joy, and purpose in life.
The author lives in Colorado, USA.