Training camps are winding down, the baseball highlights on ESPN are dwindling, and fantasy drafts are taking place. Football season is finally back! I’m a rookie this year so I’m learning everyday on the football field and in my faith walk. Nevertheless, Here are three lessons that God has taught me through football that have helped me to grow my relationship with Him. Make a plan A typical day in NFL training camp starts at 6 am. The next 12-14 hours a day of meetings, practices, lofts, walkthroughs, and meals. Although these days are long, the training camp routine is designed to maximize performance in every way imaginable. NFL teams spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the lastest recovery technology, the healthiest food, and first class weight rooms in order to create the best plan and routine for their players to succeed. On the spiritual side, as Christians we must create a plan that will help us deepen our faith. It starts by planning out a way to spend time with Jesus each day. Jesus underscores the importance of the Word of God when He says ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’(Matt 4:4). This verse reminds me to make sure that I’m getting my spiritual nutrition from God’s Word every day. Have a plan to spend time in the Bible and prayer. Resiliency and Mercy Football is a game where you constantly get knocked down. I believe that the beauty of the game is in getting back up, returning to the huddle and taking on the opponent again with a new plan. Sin will knock each and everyone of us down at some point in our lives. The devil wants us to feel guilty and unworthy when sin knocks us on our backs. As Christians we know that Jesus will always offer His grace and mercy to pick us back up. Like in football, we have to learn why we got knocked down and formulate a new plan to help avoid sin next time we are tested. Being a Christian isn’t about never being knocked down, but it’s about learning from our mistakes and allowing God to pick us up. Do it today! As a rookie, I’ve been challenged by my teammates and coaches to improve on the little things everyday. With the season right around the corner, roster cuts have to be made. There is a sense of urgency for every player to take steps forward at each day of practice. We are called to grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus day after day. Football reminded me not to be satisfied with complacency even in my faith life. The Bible tells us that our time on Earth is but a vapor. Make that change today! Have a plan to spend time with our Lord every day, execute it now not tomorrow, and allow God to call the shots and be fill us with grace when we fall short.