As an athlete there are many experiences that one has during competitive play. The anticipation of the beginning of an athletic contest, the adrenaline that flows through you during the event, the sensation of sweat dripping down your face.
These are all a part of what makes competitive sport a unique experience.
One phenomenon, often spoken about in fable, is the idea of being in “The Zone.” This phrase typically describes an athlete who has seemingly transcended the activity that is going on in relationship to the other participants in the contest. They are seemingly not fazed by the pressures to perform, not moved by the competition, and for all intents and purposes unable to be beaten in said contest.
While many have watched an individual who appears to be in “the zone” the experience itself is unparalleled.
During a high school basketball game I had one of these experiences. It was the beginning of the second quarter and our team was down eight points. This game was pivotal as it was a regional competition to advance to the next level of the playoffs. Two key players for our team were injured and the other team’s best player had gotten off to a hot start. It seemed that our season was going to come to a close that night. But all of a sudden something happened. I took a jumper and hit it, then I hit another, before I realized I had made 5 shots in a row. It did not matter which defender, what form of defense, or what organization of players were in front of me I could not miss. I felt as if I was throwing a rock into the ocean.
It got to the point that I smiled to myself as I felt that what was going on was greater than my talents and abilities.
I ended up scoring 27 points that game and we won in overtime. Needless to say my performance garnered the recognition of fans from both teams as well as the media at the game, but this is not what resonated the most with me. The lasting sentiment from this experience was how I felt during that period in which I was in “The Zone.”
While playing I felt that the only individual on the court was me.
It did not matter what obstacle was in front of me I was going to overcome it in the pursuit of victory. This to me mirrors my relationship with God. I have accepted the fact that many battles that I face on a day to day basis have already been won--by God. I am still tasked with facing these barriers but I can do so confidently knowing that God is in control. I am guided by Him, delivered from danger, fear, doubt, and directed towards hope, victory, and love.
To be in “The Zone” is an athletic communion with God.
In this state nothing else matters but rather you are granted the freedom to express yourself in a competitive arena without limitation or barriers. What you envision being accomplished happens and what you set out to achieve gets done. In a way it is poetic, synonymous with a Psalm. It is within the constructs of being in “The Zone” that God can be felt strongly and communicated in a very physical and visceral manner.