Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 3:13–14
Years of effort, sacrifice, and planning come down to this game. The commitment of the coaches and players has brought them to this point, and the payoff is right in front of them. The time of growth and struggle is finally paying off. A one-win season has grown into a three-win and then into a five-win season. The program has reached a point of respectability. The goal that has been front and center for years is finally in reach—the conference championship.
The championship game, a seesaw battle that has several lead changes, highs and lows, is finally over. But it ends in a tie—that means overtime. Then one team makes a mistake that gives you a chance, but a penalty leads to a fourth down play that is just off the receiver’s fingertips. The hurt in the eyes of your men is worse than the loss. It’s the heartbreak of dreams that die.
One of pro football’s greatest teams was the Buffalo Bills under Coach Marv Levy. Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, and the rest of the Bills played in an unprecedented four Super Bowls in a row from 1991 to 1994. Each and every time they came up short. What is it that makes a group of men come back after that kind of heartbreak time and again?
1. What does it mean to be resilient?
2. How do you reflect resiliency in mannerisms after a tough loss when you have another game breathing down your neck?
3. What is the difference of looking at life through a microscope as opposed to a telescope?
Extra Reading: Psalm 18:1–3; Hebrews 6:16–20; James 1:2–4
Lord, thank You for the ability to bounce back even after the most trying experience. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Thank You that You are a God of hope—the greatest hope which is found in Your Son, Jesus. Amen.