A Different Play Book

Tomorrow night begins the NFL’s 93rd season with the Cowboys competing against last year’s Super Bowl winners, the New York Giants.  As excited as I am to see the first game of the season,I’m MUCH more pumped about the Chicago Bear’s game on September 9th against the Indianapolis Colt.  Da bears….

As I’ve said before, football is not just a game to me – it’s my favorite time of year!  I love the expectations, fresh starts and hope that my team just might make it ALL the WAY this year!

Now, I’m well aware that the Bears are not known for their consistency.  And this season, I’m quite concerned with the health of our star player, Brian Urlacher, due to a knee injury from last year.  He’s expected to play this season, but after 13 years in the league, 8 Pro Bowls and at age 34…his longevity in the sport of football is more than likely coming to an end.

Makes me (a HUGE Urlacher fan) VERY sad to consider, which in turn, got me thinking….

What do football players do after they’ve lived out their sports’ careers?  Bearing in mind (could not help the pun here), that this game is what they have lived, breathed and struggled to play for their entire lives…what path do they take next?  And is it easy to change directions?

These questions can relate to our own lives.  The career woman who decides to stay at home to raise her children.  The stay-at-home mom who decides to get a career.  The grandma who goes back to school.  Or the business man who finds himself in retirement.  And don’t forget other life changes such as the person who finds themselves unable to use their legs after an accident or anyone facing a life-threatening disease.

Most of us will stumble upon a different play book (a.k.a. change) at least once in our lives, if not more.  How we view, react and respond to these decisions and changes are indicative of our trust in the One who created life and allows it to happen.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.  Isaiah 26:3-4

Of course, if you are anything like me you make the following mistakes when faced with a change of plans, failure or difficult circumstance:

Get angry.  Anger definitely has its place in life.  However, most of the time it doesn’t accomplish squat or help a tricky situation.  Anger has a tendency to push others away, keep us from staying in close relationship with God and harden our hearts.  We are better served to let go of the rage and look at the fork in the road as an opportunity.

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.  Psalm 37:8

Feel sorry for myself.  Oh, the pity party that I usually throw in a ‘tough decision’ time would make winning the Super Bowl look comparably trivial.  I seem to forget my blessings, miracles, and advantages I have when I’m in the midst of a crisis.  The advantage is that God is looking out for me and is ALWAYS present.  It’s a mystery why I can’t remember to ask for God’s help and TRUST His leading!!!!

For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight.  Psalm 72:12-14

Lose motivation.  Ah…the overwhelming feeling of defeat before even going to battle is NEVER a good thing.  Again, I tend to forget Who’s I am and that He is the prize – NOT money, success, career, good kids, retirement, homes, college degrees or titles!!!!  We should be living for God!  We should be tending to His desires and you know what happens when we do???  Everything else FALLS INTO PLACE!

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.  Jeremiah 1:5

Many of us don’t make the cut and sometimes become spiritually and emotionally injured in life, but how we respond to the trials is more important than the trials themselves.   Remember WHO the coach of your team is!!!

Go BEARS!

Who is your favorite football team?

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 4:25-27 – Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

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