It’s been a very long time since I have written, but now I peek out of the clouds again like the sun that comes out so rarely here in my second Rostock winter….
Ok that was a cheesy way of me saying I’m back in Rostock for a second season, and that it’s pretty cold this time around. I do like poetry though and I want to get good at creative writing so chill with the eye rolls. ;)
Long story short: This team wants to move up a league and we failed last season (meaning we didn’t make it to the championship game) so I committed another year to the same team to help be a part of the goal of winning the third league title, and moving up to the second league. One goal I have as an individual basketball player (though this isn’t primarily what drives me, or what I would base “success” on) is to make it to the BBL (first league) and play an impactful season there before my basketball time is up. When I find an organization, therefore, that also has similar aspirations as a club, and where there is a positive working environment, I jump on board. That is a part of the reason I saw fit to extend my contract with the Rostock Seawolves, and hopefully I can journey with them for a while.
Since the last post I have also experienced another AMAZING summer with family, friends, and those closest to me. Time fails me to describe it all but I can summarize it with the phrase: Quality time and adventurous experiences with the people I love most. That simple joy makes my heart glad! Then I came back to Rostock filled with refreshed joy in the Lord, and the people he has placed in my life.
This season the theme verse for me is “Abide in me, and you will bear much fruit” – John 15:5. For anyone who has read my blog it may be obvious that I seek to live a fruitful and faithful life for Christ the rest of my days. His Kingdom is all that matters to me ultimately and I want to see people come to know and love the fountain of joy. Yet with that I’ve realized that I have gotten frustrated with myself often whenever I've lost drive due to feeling fearful and faithless, spent much time seeking to distract myself with hours and hours of mindless entertainment, and looked to basketball or my relationships as the most significant aspect of my identity. That is why I think Christ reminded me so poignantly that my focus ought to be ABIDE in him... nothing more - Abiding in his love for me which has nothing to do with what I’ve achieved but simply the with the identity Christ has purchased for me on the cross; Abiding in his presence and goodness which is always available and tangible no matter what I feel; and to simply commune with Him… this is now my focus. Out of this God the Father promises that fruit will come ORGANICALLY and ABUNDANTLY.
To wrap up, my life in Rostock is very good currently. Circumstances are quite amazing. I am healthy, playing the sport I love, living in the beautiful inner city of Rostock this season (with the Christmas market coming up in front of my door), valued on my team, in closer relationships with the same guys from last year, well fed with lots of free food, and supplied with everything I need and more!!! Of course my circumstances will not always be this easy and great, but right now they are amazing! I have also gotten to share my experience here with my girlfriend who came to visit me for a week not too long ago, and now my mother, sister, and niece are coming this Friday to be hosted. To be able to share the blessings in my life with people makes the blessing of this place even better!
“When the world is all that it should be blessed be his name”
My prayer is that I don’t lose sight of my eternal treasure – God himself. When times are good I have a tendency to push him out of sight. Since currently I feel quite rich in this life, I worry the same worry as the preacher in proverbs: "Give me not riches... for I may have too much and disown you and say 'Who is the Lord'" (Prov. 30:,9). Even if I am far from uttering those words, my heart can say them in my actions every day... and my actions show I've done just that COUNTLESS times. I also don’t just want suffering to bring me back into alignment, but I deeply desire to rejoice in Him and all that he has for me, even when times are good. The Scripture speaks highly of suffering in this life because it brings us back to reality and teaches believers to value that which lasts. I hope that I can bless him, lift him high, and learn to "Rejoice in him always" (not in good things apart from him) even when things are good. If you will, pray for me to this end.