I watched in dismay as the Alabama Crimson Tide "rolled" back from a first half shutout to win the University's 12th National Championship. The Georgia Bulldogs were my pick to win, but they had quite a challenge to overcome.
Despite having the better team, Alabama was equipped with a more experienced coaching staff. Simply put, Alabama knew how to win. Heading into the game, The Crimson Tide were aware of the limitations their starting quarterback imposed on the teams chances to win. Still, they went into the game looking for their 12th Championship.
It wasn't their starting quarterback who was the hero, it was his backup. At haltime, Coach Nick Saban made a decision to put in the freshman and see what their chances would be. Almost immediately, the "tide" began to turn. On the Alabama bench, Jalen Hurts cheered on the backup who was now standing in his spotlight as the team roared back with each big play, ultimately tying the game. A missed field goal sent the game into overtime and Georgia could only muster up a field goal. On Alabama's possession, their drive began with a first down sack.
It wasn't the play Coach Saban wanted, but on the very next play freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hit a streaking Devonta Smith for a 41 yard touchdown that ended one of the wildest championship games I've seen.
Because I wasn't rooting for Alabama, I was mad. The sports anger subsided and was replaced with an epiphany! Alabama was playing to win! How else would you describe a second down & 26 "Hail Mary"? The safe call would have been to try and get back to field goal range and help out the kicker who shanked what should have ended regulation with an Alabama win!
Instead, they went with four verticals and the freshman tandem thrust themselves into college football history!
This made me think...at what point in the game was Georgia not playing to win? I watched the game and once they went away from Sony Michel, I could tell that something was amiss. Why not continue what is working? It escapes me...I always wonder why decisions like those are made in next level sports. It seems easy, do what works!
We don't always do that, though. Maybe it's human nature and our desire for something new all the time. I don't quite know, but after Monday's game I am committed more than ever to never again not play to win!
Here are a few notes I want to share with you about playing to win.
Whew, I felt kind of preachy, right there! LOL Seriously though, make this the year that you are playing to win! We have been losers long enough. Don't make the mistake of only doing enough to get to the big stage or the big game, WIN!
Complacency is a destiny robber, make 2018 the year you are playing to WIN!!!
It's often stated that the older we get, the more aware we are of the times. For others of us, the older we get, the more aware we are of just how uncertain life can be. In the bible, James tells us how to 'make plans'.
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. - James 4:13-15
I grew up hearing my mother end her conversations "if the Lord say the same" and though I understood why she would say it, I didn't understand its origin. Last November, as I was talking to a friend, it dawned on me how important it is to acknowledge the Lord's plans in ours.
I made plans to be somewhere this March and as I got off the phone, those words rang loudly in my spirit. "If (and only if) the Lord says the same!" That acknowledgment is what I believe will not only save us misdirection and even heartbreak, but will open us up to the clearest path on our way to destiny.
Sure it was only a plan to attend an event, but what if I never filtered that thought and plan through the will of God?
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
"I know the plans" as the Lord says in Jeremiah 29:11 extends beyond the nation of Israel's Babylonian captivity. Even some of our best laid plans are subject to the Lord's approval. I had to grow into a place of trust that caused me to truly seek God with every plan. God knows about the emergencies, the incidentals and dangers seen and unseen that lie in wait of our movement without Him.
He also knows which destiny steps await us at said arrivals. Who we will meet, what we are to say and even where to go once we get there. Never believe that you have reached a place in God that He only ok's your great plans!
Even after you have prayed and feel sufficiently prepared, remain open in prayer and allow the Lord to lead you all the way. As it stands, I have added that event to my calendar with an asterisk next to it. In fact, last week my email was full of press credential denials.
I stopped to think for a moment and immediately reminded myself that the Lord is in charge of my schedule. Has been and will continue to be. As the song "Yes, God is Real" says: "There are some places I cannot go..." I have learned to be okay with that, in this season-whichever it happens to be!
Remember, God knows the plans...He knows where I am to be, who I am to be in contact with and what I'll be doing and when I am to do it! For the first time ever, I'm going into a new year not totally sure what the year will bring! I know what I hope it will bring, but I'm unsure. What I am sure about is that God's plan will be achieved.
There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. -Proverbs 19:21
We're at another new year but what does that mean? Guess what? It's undefined and waiting on you to fill in the blanks! What will this year mean for you? We're not promised to see the end of the year, but we have today!
That's my new outlook on life. Before I go to bed everyday, I will check my list..."did I accomplish what I set out to once I got out of bed?" Far too many times, my answer was no as I pulled the covers over my head to go to sleep.
Many times, the trials of the day were insurmountable and impervious, obstructing even my strongest desires for progress and accomplishment. This year I have ONE goal and every day will work to help me accomplish it. I am certain of it because I have committed to making it a reality.
Have you set a goal for the year, the month, this week? If not, do so. I don't mean simply jot down something you want to do. It's much more serious than that. What do you need to do? Connect to purpose and work toward your destiny this year. Start this week, you can even start today!
There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. -Proverbs 19:21
We're not as much in control of our life's outcome as we have been told, but what we can control needs our best effort!
Yep, I Said It!
When I have something to say, I often say it. Many times, I try to find the best way to say it. Other times, there's just no easy way to say a hard thing. My journey in life has made me a person with much to say and the person people least want to hear it from.