I’m on the road with my daughter’s championship soccer team. Yesterday, they won their first game but tied the second game. It wasn’t a loss, however the entire game they were in the lead 1-0. A soccer match is a fight to the finish. It’s an aggressive game! Couple that with taunting teenage girls, tempers flare. During the second half, one of the team leaders loss their cool and was red flagged. She was experiencing pressure, aggression, and negative energy from one of the team members on the opposing team; the truth is they all were. After she was called out of the game the rest of the team immediately lost their focus and gave up. The other team scored and the game ended with a tie. As I observed quietly the postgame huddle and listened to conversations, my spirit was immediately quickened to share these words with the team.
Excerpt from The Endurance Ride of Life ©®™
Each of you has leadership abilities. You have been given a tremendous gift of athleticism that not everyone can say that they have. To be an athletic leader takes a unique set of skills that can only be developed through listening, learning and application. To be an athletic leader takes inward fortitude; the ability to dig deep down from within and press no matter what you encounter.
Three keys to developing inward fortitude:
1. Attitude - can make or break you. Whether you live with joy and happiness or allow the things that happen to you to defeat you is really up to you. You must master the art of self-control; turning negatives into positives and thinking before you act or speak.
2. Endurance - an unstoppable force that comes from within to NEVER QUIT no matter what is happening to you or around you.
3. Leadership - the ability to step up and change things for the better; the ability to not only lead others, but to lead by example; the ability to influence others for the better.
Throughout your life there will always be moments in your life that you cannot change or take back. You will simply have to deal with it. The question is; how will you deal with it?
In high school I ran track. Now, by no means was I an All-star track star like my younger sister, but around sophomore year I gave it a try. Ambitiously, I attempted to be a hurdler. Rather than start out with something a little less intimidating, I went for the gusto. Go hard or go home! I can recall spring training days like it was yesterday back in my home town of St. Louis, MO in Tower Grover Park; Coach Kosh preparing and encouraging us. I was ready! 100 meter sprints, no problem. 100 meter hurdles, ouch! As I took off at the sound of starting gun, first hurdle, cleared, second hurdle, cleared. By the time I reached the third hurdle that back leg didn't clear as it should. Instantly I became distracted. Fourth hurdle, wham right on my face! Needless to say, I never ran hurdles again. As I recall the event I wondered why I never found the courage to try again. Why didn't someone push me to try again?
This is my conclusion; often times when we fall, we allow ourselves to spiral so deep into a pit of despair, self-doubt, and fear, that not only can we not climb out on our own but no one else can pull us out. It takes the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to gently guide us into a place where we feel confident enough to try again. As I look over my life this has been a consistent truth. Every fall, every failed attempt, every pit of despair I have climbed into, has taken the power of the Holy Spirit to bring me out of. Can you relate? What pit have you been thrown in or climbed into on your own that you desperately need the help of the Holy Spirit to bring you out of? FAILURE SHOULD NEVER BE FINAL!