Tonight my 8 year old will compete in the first of many gymnastics meets this winter. She’s a level 5 gymnast now so it continues to get tougher. I am already amazed by what she is able to achieve in this delicate sport. Amazed. However, she is nervous. REALLY NERVOUS. My wife and I have been doing our best to calm the fears and allow her to soak in the moment while “trusting her training”. What else can you tell an 8 year old that has all of the ability but fear could be her biggest opponent?

This morning I opened my Uncommon Life Daily Challenge devotional book by Tony Dungy and wouldn’t you know the answer was right there on the page. It’s so good I thought I would post for you all as well. Fear or nerves getting the best of you? Check this out…

Have you thought about all the events that led up to this moment in your life – why you’re here, how you’ve been shaped, what caused you to read this book or seek God’s plans for your life? Have you wondered how much of it is accidental or random and how much is designed?

I believe God knew exactly where you would be right now and exactly what you would be like. He knew about your passions and gifts and the platform you would have. In fact, I believe He was very purposeful in designing your life. He made you to be uniquely significant and to have an eternal impact on the world around you.

Let that sink in. How would you live differently if you really believed that God had intentionally designed you to impact others? What steps of faith would you take if you knew He had already planned them? What would you attempt if you were fully convinced He was backing you? Would you set out to accomplish big things in your community? Would you go to local schools with a sense of mission? What impossible problems would suddenly seem possible to deal with? The fact is that when you believe  you were designed for a purpose, you will live with a purpose.

I realize we all have some areas we can improve, and just because we believe God designed us doesn’t mean we know what for. But God is gracious. He knows we’ll fall short, and He knows that finding His will for our lives will be a process. We’ll make mistakes along the way. Grace isn’t an excuse to give less than our best, but it is reassuring to know that God doesn’t pressure us to be perfect. When we fall, we can get up, dust ourselves off, and keep moving toward the goal. Whatever our past, God has future plans for us. And those plans are good.

Don’t be afraid to try big things that fit with God’s purposes. No problem is too big for Him to solve, whether it’s in the lives of people around us, on a national or global scale, or anything in between. That means no problem is too big for us to attempt to solve in His strength. We were designed for such purposes. 

Uncommon Key – God was very intentional about your design, your opportunities and your purpose. Thank Him and look for ways to use what He has given you in the best way possible.

-Tony Dungy (Uncommon Life Daily Challenge)

So…. what do you think? It would seem the answer to what you tell an 8 year old before her gymnastics meet is right there in black and white (the bold words were placed that way by me for key emphasis). You can bet when she gets home I’ll sit down with her and read this to her too. Then she’ll go do specifically what God created her to do tonight.

You can too…..