Happy January 1st! Amen to a fresh start and new beginnings!

While praying this morning about this new year and visions for this blog, God put the word goal-keeper on my heart along with the game of soccer. Now let me just say, this is definitely the Holy Spirit because I don’t know much about the game of soccer nor the role of the goal-keeper other than that this is the person that “keeps the goals?” LOL! But, I love when He gives such a clear word whether it be for one person or several. Maybe this is for you, for your friend, or for someone that you’ve been thinking about sharing this blog with. Only HE knows, but I pray this be a blessing to you today in one way or another.

To start off, I’d like to create somewhat of a visual as this can sometimes be easier to imagine this. So if you could, put your imagination caps on, and visualize a game of soccer. If you aren’t sure or haven’t watched one, feel free to google a clip if that helps, but I will try my best to set up a basic picture. By the way, these rules are taken from Google, so if they are inaccurate, I apologize, but I don’t know the game of soccer well enough to write based off of experience. Grace goes a long way 😉

So, of course, the game of soccer has set rules along with many players which are crucial to the game that make up the dynamics of the sport. First, the ideal game of soccer entails 11 players, including the goalkeeper and an additional referee. The game is generally played on a turf or grass setting which includes an obvious marking of the goal line, for both teams (on opposing sides). The soccer ball must be in a spherical shape, preferably marked with black and white colors. The kick-off is usually determined by a coin toss in which the winning teams is allowed to choose to start with the ball or which goal they prefer. Therefore, the losing team is assigned the goal which was not elected by the winning team at kick-off. Kick-off occurs at the beginning of each half, after each goal is scored, and is generally started at the center of the halfway line. When a team scores, the ball is given to the opposing team to kick-off the ball for a new play. The ball is is out of play either when the ball fully crosses the goal line or the touch line soccergameor if the referee stops the game at at point in time. A goal is scored when the ball is fully kicked into the goal line and the ball crosses the entire frame of the goal. At the end of the game, whichever team has the most goals is determined as the winning team. There are several other rules such as offside, fouls, free kicks, penalty kicks, and throw-in. I’d like to keep this simple, for the sake of the message, but if you’d like to know more, please feel free to check out the details on google.

Moving on to the players of the game:

~1 goalkeeper, the remaining 10 are defenders, midfielders, and forwards (these can be described in much more detail, but for simplicity, I will leave it here).

Each of these players is critical to the game, as they each play a unique role and make up the team to score against the opposing team. Without one player, or the shortage of players, that team is at a deficient and already at a disadvantage. When there are less than 7 players, the game is forfeited. However, I’d like to point out the importance of the goalkeeperWithout a goalkeeper, the game cannot be played. Both teams must have a goalkeeper in order to even start the game, as they are the key players to both teams. The goalkeeper is 100% necessary in order to play the game, which proves how important they are to the game of soccer. In a sense, they have much control over the game in terms of whether a game can start or not. Without them, the game is not a game.

With that said, as you’re imagining the game of soccer or referring to the visual above, when you remove the goalkeeper there becomes an obvious deficit. I’d like to spend some time highlighting the significance of the goalkeeper.

Webster’s dictionary defines a goalkeeper as: a player whose chief duty is to prevent the ball from the opposing team from entering the goal line within the frame of the goal (a.k.a. “the goalie”). 

Even the definition demonstrates the importance of a goalkeeper. Now stepping back from the game of soccer and into reality, a goalkeeper can be related to several aspects of life. Maybe in finances. Maybe in relationships. Professionally. Spiritually. Personally. Emotionally. Mentally. Maybe something not listed, but keep note of this as the thoughts come to mind. It is crucial to identify the thoughts, but also allow them to be. Don’t judge them, don’t try to make much sense of them for now, but just allow them to be. God is working in our minds and will speak to our hearts to give us direction or re-direction. For me, I find it enlightening to journal the thoughts that come up. Reflect on them. Pray over them. I know God is mightily faithful and will bring these things to fruition.

While allowing these thoughts to be, I’d like to break down the word goal-keeper further. By adding that simple hyphen, that word becomes much more relatable in life, rather than to the game of soccer.

I hear that word being repeated in my head as: Goal. Keeper. Goal-keeper. A goal keeper. Keeping my goals. What a profound difference by grammatically editing the word ever-so slightly. We are own own goal-keeper. Just like in the game of soccer, we have so much control of our goals and how we keep them. How we attain them. How we create them. How we achieve them. Of course, God is the ultimate Beginner and Finisher, but He gives us a lot of reign over our goals and how we tackle them. There is a written memoir by an unknown author called, “A Life of Saving Goals and Achieving Them” and it reflects upon how we not only define our goals, but save them whether we struggle or not, and how to then to achieve them regardless of any obstacles. This is a great reminder that life will try to deter us, maybe it even wins at times, but with the control we have over our own actions, we are able to get back up and return to the path in which we achieve our goals. Remember there are other players in the game. Defenders. Fowards. Midfielders. Satan. Life’s circumstances, which we cannot control. But ultimately we can control our actions and reactions to this. This may take days, months, years, maybe even a century. What truly matters is our resilience to get back up and start or resume again and again to keep on the road of our goals. We are our own goal-keeper and we must allow ourselves to run its course. No matter what life may bring us.

So, with this said, I encourage you to think of one goal, or maybe a few, and ask yourself how you can remain in the driver seat of keeping and achieving your goals this year. Maybe name one. Journal about it. Pray about it. Ask God to guide you. And give yourself grace. We will all fall off-course in one way or another, but with the idea of goal-keeping in mind, we will succeed.

How will you be the goal-keeper this year?! When life deters you, push back, and keep pushing back to keep your goals no matter what!

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