Heaven to the Yeah grace ambassador, Jordan Gray, speaks with USA Decathlete, Steven Bastien on his life-long journey of keeping his faith alive through the blessings of his gift of track and field.
Bastien grew up attending Catholic church, believing in God, but not necessarily sure he had a relationship with God. He attended the Baptist college of Sanford where he met many people who showed him what it meant to truly walk with God. This walk carried over into his athletic career as he now knows he can call upon the Lord to ease his anxieties prior to competing. “Since I’ve become more of a practicing Christian, I can lean on God and trust his hands are on it; it [a relationship with God] has made the ups and downs make more sense.” Bastien sees the hands of God in all aspects of his life and knows that with Gods hands guiding him on his journey, he will be formed into what he supposed to be able to become in the eyes of God. Through his newfound walk with Christ, Bastien saw his talents to be a gift from God and strove to use them to expand his relationship with the Lord and with those around him.
When the pandemic hit and all major sports were cancelled, Bastien had a feeling of worry as he wondered if sports even had a place in the world anymore. However, he stuck to his faith and trusted in the way of the Lord to see that his gift of sports had given him the opportunity to meet new people and fulfil a feeling of gratefulness toward the goodness of God. Through all the hardships the pandemic has caused, Bastien sees his position as one that now allows him to relate to others. “Discipleship happens through stories and relationships; I was given this blessing from God.” This discipleship, gifted by God, in Bastien’s life also helped him navigate the uncertainty brought along with the Pandemic. “For Christians, this pandemic has given some form of hardship (not usually experienced) where we need to lean on God as we do not know what tomorrow is going to bring.” Faith has offered the humility of knowing the truth: we are not in control, and we need God more than ever. Such a realization is kept in the mind of Bastien as he walks through life balancing his own humility with his pride in successes.
“I’ve always had a fear of being prideful since success began happening in my life. It is a thing you see with athletes as they come off in a certain way.” While not wanting to come off in a negative light as other athletes may when their pride grows grand, Bastien stayed, and continues to stay, mindful of the things said and the portrayal of actions and treatment of others. He also keeps in mind his devotion to the Lord and knowledge of his gifts and talents from God. “I didn’t do anything to deserve the circumstances I was given; I am a product of a gift.” Bastien continues to say that each person is given a unique gift from God and that not one is better than the other; it all simply falls on the person to chase after their gift and use it to carry out God’s message. In doing this and focusing on gifts, Bastien claims the challenge in being prideful when everything comes from God. Through the gifts of God, we can then see God’s Grace shine everyday.
When Gray brought up God’s Grace and asked what this meant to Bastien, one word came to mind for the decathlete: Everything. “It means everything. There is something about talking about God that shows you are in no means perfect and everyone is a sinner,” Bastien says, “we all have a path to go on, but without God’s Grace, where would we be? God’s Grace is our salvation.” However, even with the blessings of God’s Grace, the challenges of life can still be felt each day, especially in high attention situations.
While Bastien is confident and comfortable in his faith, there are times when Bastien can say yes and no when asked if it is hard to live out his faith in his sport. “There is something about sport that makes it easier to live out my faith; people pray for me, and I can feel it; I know prayers are over me and they help me… but I can also be introverted and not know the right time to speak or if what I am about to say will turn someone off from the faith or the words I am saying.” Faith is powerful, but we are all still human and live with the daily pressures of society. Being confident and comfortable, or just starting out in your faith will continue to come with challenges as the Lord said, “they will hate you for following me.” To these challenges, Bastien provided readers, viewers, and listeners with a few words of encouragement before his time with Gray ended.
“Sometimes, at first, it is hard to make habit, but when you do, just obey God and try to follow his path and his way. [When you do this,] good things happen you can’t explain and when bad things happen, you take them in stride.” Bastien speaks to new believers as he shares these words and encourages everyone to give something a try, especially if it follows from uncertainty. “Good things will appear on the other side [if you try]. [Remember to] do things that are important before things that are urgent.”
The Heaven to the Yeah team thanks Bastien for his time and his openness in sharing God’s light and impact on his life and the lives of others. We will continue to keep Bastien in our thoughts and prayers as he continues on his journey with the Lord.
Heaven to the Yeah (HTTY) is an online retail start-up with a mission to encourage people to live with heaven in view and spread the hope of heaven globally. HTTY sponsors children and missionaries on four continents through universally recognized non-profit organizations such as Compassion International and Food for the Hungry.