The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

Share this page with your friends

Bookmark and Share

Question

I've been boxing since I was 10 years old, but shortly after I turned 15 I slowly stopped going to the gym and training as much and I seemed to have lost interest in it. Before I lost interest, I loved boxing and I'd go to the gym everyday -- nothing would stop me. Now, some days if I'm going go to the gym I ask myself "do I really want to go?" It seems I don't have a lot of motivation, although people say it's because I have a girlfriend. Is there any proper way I can pray for motivation and interest in the sport I once couldn't get enough of? I want the old days to come back

Answer

One of the reasons people are told not to get married at too young of an age is the realization that people change in more ways than just physically as they become adults. Ways of thinking change. Tastes in foods change. Who you like as friends even sometimes changes. It sounds like your thinking has begun to change in regards to the type of exertion that you find fun. There is nothing wrong with that. It might even return at a later point. You are maturing and your range of interests is increasing. Time is a limited quantity and so you have to make choices. Back in your carefree days without a girlfriend, you could focus only on boxing. Now you have competing interests and the time for those other interests have to come from somewhere.

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.
What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-11).

Instead of longing for the past, focus on the upcoming future. "Do not say, "Why were the former days better than these?" For you do not inquire wisely concerning this" (Ecclesiastes 7:10). The reason for the warning is that our memories are biased. We remember only what we want to recall. We tend to suppress the bad and remember the good things. Nor do we want everything that comes with what we remember. Do you really want to go back to the days before your body matured? Do you really want to lose the things you have learned over the years?

Instead of praying for something that might not be in your best interests at the moment, pray to God to make the best use of your time. Pray to be of service to Him and an example to others.

That is true, I only focused on boxing; nothing else. I'd just like to get back into it again. I remember God telling me that it was what He wanted me to do. Now, I just seemed to have lost the motivation, but I will pray for what you said to pray for.

About mental changes, do you think that's why one can't become a professional boxer until the age of 18? Because they are not mentally ready yet? In boxing, I have heard before that sometimes I was physically ready, just not mentally ready and I never understood it.

The reason for the age limit is that boxing is a brutal sport that causes the participants to accumulate numerous injuries. In the United States, an individual is not deemed ready to make such life-affecting decisions until they are legally an adult -- which is 18 in this country. It is the same reason that statutory rape laws exist. A person under legal majority (18) is not deemed old enough to decide they want sex, so a person older than 18 having sex with someone younger than 18 can be charged with rape even though the younger person claims it was consensual.

The typical male does reach full mental maturity until around age 24. Young men are notorious for taking unnecessary risks -- but that is in part due to the fact that the part of the brain that assesses risks is one of the last things to mature. I suspect that your trainers noted that you took too many risks and that is why they said that you were not mentally ready.

Rather than fight the flow of time, it is better to enjoy things as they are. "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:11-13). Life is going to hand you both good times and bad times. But you can find satisfaction in life during both while serving Christ.

I know you strongly believe that God called you to boxing, and at one time it was your all consuming desire. But the world is bigger and you are growing up. Yes, focusing on boxing simplifies your world, but I suspect you are being shown that there is more to life than just one sport. It makes life more complicated, it adds many layers of difficulty, but it also makes you into a man. "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith -- the salvation of your souls" (I Peter 1:6-9).

What I'm saying is that boxing might not be the sum of the life God intends for you. It was a major part of your childhood and teenage years. Enjoy that. Find satisfaction in that. But life goes on and you must go with it.