I admit I have a small addiction. Okay, okay, it’s more like a gigantic addiction but it’s not my fault. Really, it’s not. I am almost certain that it’s my husbands fault. Yes, that’s it! I have a big addiction and it’s all my husbands fault.
It all started two years ago when my husband introduced me to a show called, The Contender. The show, hosted by boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, consisted of 12 fighters competing for The Contender title. Something about watching the boxers befriend one another, room together, train together for weeks on end then brutally battle it out fascinated me and that’s where my addiction began. Week after week I was mesmerized by the program and afterwards, felt it my duty to share my personal post-fight commentary notes with my husband. You can imagine the dilemma I faced when the season ended. Sure, the best boxer received the title but what about me? I was at a loss. What was I going to do? What would I have to obsessive over now? And why did my beloved husband cause this addiction anyway?
Fortunately, not long after, my daughter mentioned a new series called, Fight Girls. The title alone got my addiction pumping. This time it was ten tough female Muay Thai fighters, who under the tutelage of Master Toddy, trained for the opportunity to travel to Thailand and compete against top Muay Thai fighters. Wow! That was one empowering series for an addict like me.
After Fight Girls came American Gladitor, whose winner this year by the way, was a woman named Monica. I’m pretty certain that was omen of some sort. Then came the phenomenal, Fight Quest, a 10-week program that followed two American men, Doug and Jimmy all over the world to train and compete in various styles of martial arts. My addiction went into over-drive the week the men traveled to Israel to train with a female master of the life or death fighting style of Krav Maga. She was vicious and I loved it. But of course that show ended too so now, it’s all about World Extreme Cage fighting. What a rush! So you get my point right? I have an addiction to reality sports programs and it’s all my husbands fault.
Lest you think I’m a sports show junkie with no hope, may I remind you that God meets us where we’re at. Yes, that’s right. In the midst of my competitive sports addiction, God has revealed Himself to me, once again. Let me tell you what He showed me.
In grappling and mixed martial arts there is a term fighters both love and hate called “tap out.” This is where opponents use specific techniques against each other to inflict pain and discomfort until eventually one of the fighter taps the mat, letting his opponent know he gives up. While no fighter wants to be the one forced to tap out, it is necessary at times in order to prevent serious injuries.
Through witnessing countless of fighters tap out, God reminded me that while smart fighters know when it’s time to tap out, spiritual fighters don’t need to tap out. As believers, we may have times when we feel weak, beaten down, overwhelmed, fearful, or depressed and while those feelings are very real, we don’t need to give up. When we are tired of fighting life’s daily challenges, we don‘t have to tap out, we just need to tap in to God, our strength. The prophet Isaiah reminds us why. “Do not fear, I am with you…I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you (for I) give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak” (41:10; 40:29).
Some days it feels like we’re on the mat of life grappling to survive, doesn‘t it? But no matter how tough things get, God says, don’t tap out. He’ll give you the strength you need, not only to fight, but also to win.