With the new year we obviously see new plans. We look at the opportunity for new beginnings as an opportunity for improvement, gain, victory…
A great picture of this is the college football bowl season that surrounds New Year’s Day. Teams are anxious to show their might. They are anxious to impress future recruits. They are excited about the money that is coming into their program by appearing in a bowl game.
One example of this is the University of Florida Gators. They entered their bowl game on January 2 ranked third in the polls. Many analyst and computer models actually rated them even higher and stronger than Notre Dame, who happens to be #1 in the polls. The Gators wanted to prove their prowess. They wanted to make a statement that could raise their place in the final polls. They were playing the University of Louisville Cardinals. The Cardinals were ranked #21 in the polls and hoping to gain some more respect… Yet most analyst agreed that Florida would have no problem defeating Louisville and fulfilling their resolutions to establish themselves as one of the strongest teams in the nation.
Yet games are kind of funny; they don’t always follow a script. No matter how much planning and preparation goes in, the game still takes place between the lines! Louisville didn’t care about the polls and opinions. They simply came into the game against a premier team and steamrolled them. I didn’t watch the entire game but what I did see was Louisville domination.
Isn’t that a lot like life? You may have made a lot of plans and resolutions but life doesn’t always follow the script…
I genuinely planned to start walking/jogging some while on break in Florida. I am way out of shape and need to lose pounds desperately. Yet my plans did not allow for my back going out and spending the entire trip in pain. The fact is that sometimes we lose; sometimes life steamrolls us!
How do we handle those times? It is easy to have a good attitude when “winning”; when things are going the way we planned. But adversity is the real test.
In fact the Word promises we will face adversity.
- It tells us this is where we grow (James 1:2-3)
- It tells us we can trust God in the midst of them (Romans 8:28)
The simple question I have for you this week is: “When adversity hits (and it will) will you stand? Will you resolve to honor God and trust Him in the midst… even if others refuse to stand?”
After the Florida/Louisville game a very moving scene took place. (At least it moved me when I read it.) Writer Graham Watson recorded the event, which I read on Yahoo news:
“At the end of Florida victories, the team usually sticks around to sing the alma mater with the band.
But after Wednesday’s embarrassing 33-23 loss to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl, most Florida players couldn’t get off the field fast enough while others went to find their friends and family in the stands.
But one player stayed to sing his last fight song of the season.
Junior linebacker Darrin Kitchens ran over to the band section, held his helmet high and proudly sang the fight song. It didn’t matter that he was the only one standing alone while his other teammates ignored his gesture…”
H/T to @WHoltzman for the picture.