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It’s All About The Finish

'Bama Again
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I’ve been pretty much silent on the subject for about a week and it’s time to break my silence.  Congratulations to the Alabama Crimson Tide for winning the BCS National Championship.  It was a blowout of epic proportions.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish entered the contest with a 12-0 regular season record.  One win away from perfection on the season and a national championship.   So close, and yet, so far.

What was it?  Did ‘Bama’s reputation intimidate the Irish so much they considered it a lost cause before they even took the field?

It all came into perspective for me thanks to Pastor Keith Loy at Celebrate Community Church.  However, more than just sports came into perspective.

His sermon dealt with Moses and the Israelites entering the promised land.  God had promised this land to them in his covenant. They were so close to being in possession of this land.  Moses instructed his finest men to go into the country and find out what it offered.

Specifically, Moses asked the men to bring back food.  He also asked them to find out whether or not it had trees, land suitable for farming and for cattle.  He also asked them for a report on the people living there and whether they lived in the open or in cities or in fortifications.

When the men returned with their report, they said it was indeed a land of milk and honey. They brought samples of figs and grapes.  They reported that the land was good. But they said it was inhabited by a people that were large and that there was no way they could take the land.

Why did they say this?  After all, God had promised them this land to them in advance.  They were sitting on the 10-yard line.  They were that close!

Yet fear crept in and their vision became skewed.  Some even considered going all the way back to Egypt and back to slavery!  Imagine that!

Instead, they chose to wander the wilderness as a lost people for the next forty years.

I’m not about to say that God plays a part in sporting events or that one team has favor over another.  Or that we have been promised anything in the material realm of life.

I think no matter which field we play upon, we can allow fear to distort and skew our vision of what is real despite a positive scouting report that we already have in our possession.

It can be easier for all of us to shrink back to the way things were even though they weren’t so good to begin with.  Fear likes to do that to all of us.

It takes a certain amount of courage to try to go beyond what is and strive for what could be.

Like sports, some of us are content to sit in the easy chair and enjoy the view of the game.   However, this view can be skewed.  It is not the same view the participants on the field have.

With that in mind, before we criticize the athlete, performer, or person who doesn’t have the same view that we, the spectators have, we have to be aware that they’re the ones who have earned the privilege to play the game.

After all, they’re the ones who overcame doubt and fear and invested in themselves to try to accomplish something greater than themselves.  Win, lose or draw they have earned that right.

Most of us remain content to sit on the sidelines, watch, and give our critiques, all the while risking nothing, reasoning that if nothing is risked, nothing can be lost.  It’s comfortable to stay in the easy chair. Our doubts and fears will always want to keep us there.

 

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