This is a storytime I do with the boys. I have been sharing this with them for at least the last 5 years.
We should get our validation from God. Validation is that secure feeling down deep in your soul that you know who you and what you are and nothing can shake it. No matter what anybody says to you or if they slander your name, you are secure that you are worthwhile. If we allow people to validate us, we allow them to invalidate us. That’s why we see people that are so happy when they get a boyfriend or girlfriend then so crushed when they lose their boyfriend or girlfriend. They were seeking validation from another person. For a while that other person validated them and they felt good about themselves but when the other person wasn’t there anymore, they felt awful. So many people take this rollercoaster ride all of the time when they don’t have to. We weren’t designed to be validated by other people. People are fallible; they aren’t God and therefore fall short of the requirements to fully validate us. Even our parents, who love us more than any other person does, make mistakes and invalidate us from time to time.
The way we get our validation from God is to know what He’s done for us. When someone loves you and thinks you are worthwhile, how do we know that they do? By their actions. What they do FOR us. We may not always agree with them at the time that what they’re doing is best for us but in the end we know it is. So it is with God. God has created a universe of 200 million galaxies for us to live in. He has provided for the fine tuning of all of those galaxies and specifically our galaxy and planet Earth for you. To allow you to live on this planet, in your neighborhood, in this time. He has done all of this for YOU. He created air for you to breathe, water for you to drink, food to eat. He created the body to carry your soul around on this earth. He created us in His image. The Bible says He only gave his image to man and no other creature on earth. With this image comes a conscience to help us navigate good and evil. It comes with a desire to create, just like He did. A desire to love just as He does. A desire to be loved just as He has. A desire to be extraordinary just as He is. All of this He gifted to YOU so that you may live a wonderful life. He also sent His son Jesus to die for our sins so that we may live eternally with Him. Can you imagine allowing people to kill your son when you have the power to stop it. How painful that would be. What kind of love must He have for YOU that He endured all of that because He knew that is price He must pay to allow YOU to live in His presence forever.
Once you take this knowledge into your heart….your soul…. and make it permanent part of who you are, nobody can shake this foundation of who you are and how loved you are. You were designed to be validated by the one true God and only He can do it. Let Him.
Every good warrior needs a weapon. Your weapon is what does damage to your opponent. Our weapon of choice will be the sword. In football, our swords are our bodies. A sword starts out as a piece of raw iron, very soft and of not much use. A blacksmith takes this piece of iron and places it into a forge, which is a very hot furnace to make it softer so that he can shape it. We can’t even imagine the heat in the forge. He is preparing it for battle. He also places in the forge over and over, then into cold water to harden it. He then tempers it, by heating it again without cooling it fast. This is what we’re doing to your bodies. Your bodies are soft and weak. As we run and exercise, especially in the heat of the sun, your muscles become harder and harder, day by day. This cannot happen in a short time. It takes weeks. You have a choice in how strong you become. The harder you work the tougher and more battle ready your body will become. Just like the sword, the harder your bodies are, the longer they will last in the battle.
Now that we have a hard and tempered sword, we have to learn to wield it, to use it. If you were preparing to do battle with your sword as your weapon, you would train with it. You would learn from your coach how to block your opponent’s advances and you would learn to slash and cut (thrust and parry) with your sword. By the same token, we learn how to battle within the confines of the rules of football. This mainly consists of blocking and tackling. These are things the coaches teach.
Now that we have a hard sword and know how to use it, we need to sharpen it so that it cuts deep. Proverbs 27:17 says that “As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another.” That means it’s up to you guys to sharpen each other’s swords. To compete hard against each other to make each other better. When we all do this, we make the team better. Now we can go out and cut our opponents apart with our shoulder pads.
Who is wielding the sword of our body? Our Warrior Heart is. It is what is in control of the sword. How tough and cunning we are is dependent upon how much we have developed our Warrior Heart. We may have the knowledge of how to use the sword but do we have the courage to do it? That’s what comes from your Warrior Heart.
What is a Storytime? It was named that by the players not by me. I decided to use water breaks to give 2-5 minute lessons for the players. Sometimes the lessons are full of imagery, a word picture, to help the boys understand a concept or to motivate them. Sometimes they are Bible stories to teach them a life lesson. Sometimes they are stories from my life that teach a lesson and bring us closer together. Our brains are designed to learn by hearing a story to illustrate a point. Jesus taught in parables. The word parable means to lay one thing down against another. Analogy is another term for this. Jesus knew this and used it very wisely.
I have stopped doing Storytimes at the start of practice because the players don’t need a break at that point so it’s more time efficient to tell them we’re going to have a break anyway. The boys love these times and if I haven’t done a storytime in a few days, they will remind that it’s been too long. So when you see things categorized as storytimes in this blog, you’ll know what it means.