What's Your Motivation? - Daniel Norris

I like to keep my life balanced. When the new year comes, I’m excited for the change and restart, but more than the desire to make new resolutions or changes, I want to keep the balance in my life. I’ve never been one to be too high or too low at any time. I like a good cruising speed. As an athlete, I push myself really hard in the gym and while competing. And in my faith, I never want to stay in one spot. I want to be set on cruising speed, consistently growing closer to God as each new year comes.

As a professional athlete, I’m in prime position to utilize my physical body for God’s glory. I aim to treat my body as a temple for God. Whether I’m training to get stronger or trying to stay healthy, this is my motivation. My body is a vessel for Him. The better shape I’m in, the better I’ll perform on the field, the more glory I am able to bring God. It directly correlates. This is a daily driving force for me. While there are many days when I feel worn out, exhausted and sore, I know I’m not just working out so I can find more success for me or to help out my teammates. This is ultimately about God. Having that perspective gives me an extra edge. 

There are plenty of professional athletes who don’t know Christ personally, and they stay motivated by other reasons. Maybe they want to be strong or successful, maybe they want to prove something to the world. But when you wake up and the last thing you feel like doing is training, faith comes in at a huge advantage. I play for Christ — that’s why I don’t take any days off.

In 1 Timothy 4:8 we read, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” I spend a lot of time training and competing. I wish I could match that time with the time I spend in the Word, but the reality is, sometimes I can’t. However, for me, working out and honoring God with my body by using it the way He created me is a form of worship. I see being obedient to Him and striving to be my best as ways to build my relationship with Him. Every time I choose to serve Him in this way, I am giving back to God what He’s entrusted to me.

I don’t usually try to push my teammates to work out more, but I do try to set an example by my own actions. When guys see me in the weight room day in and day out, they may choose to emulate that. In the same way, I hope my faithfulness to God will cause others to pursue Him for themselves. Ultimately, it’s everyone’s choice whom they serve and what their motivation is. For me, it’s Christ.

— Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers pitcher

Daniel Norris is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Daniel’s Increase profile here.

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