LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FIELD

 “The difference between a successful person & others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”       Vince Lombardi

I have great memories of a friend back in my high school days who was a tremendous all-round athlete.   This was a guy who was generally understated and over shadowed by other athletes until he was tapped to substitute for a key injured player during a critical varsity football game.  The following minutes were incredible!   This was a guy who actually ran the ball in for a touchdown the first time he touched a football during a game!   What a shock!   The stadium went wild for this guy who was a second string player.

In looking back with fond memories on this athlete and this particular game, I can say that “Bobby” was a player who always made it a habit to “Leave it all on the field.”   Even though Bobby did not get to play very much initially, he certainly set a great example for all the other players with his dedication and commitment.  For a brief moment, Bobby had a chance to show others how to leave it all on the field when given the opportunity.   Needless to say, Bobby began to play more often in subsequent games.   More importantly though, Bobby was an inspiration to myself and others and I certainly never forgot it.

For those who play sports or enjoy watching sports, the phrase “leave it all on the field” is easily recognized.   It is something that coaches often tell their players before a big game.  To “leave it all on the field” basically means to give it everything you have.  Don’t hold anything back.   Every sporting event has a predetermined amount of time in which it is played.   The goal should always be to give your very best in that amount of time, since when the game is over, it is too late to affect the outcome.

A pending new year is always a great time to take a quick look back on the old year and look forward to the new.  For many people, a new year brings a feeling of freshness and new opportunities to us.   It also provides an opportunity to assess how we did throughout the old year in terms of achieving our identified goals and evaluate how well we did in achieving them.   Were there goals that we did not achieve?   If there were, can we determine what happened and what we can do to correct our course in the new year?

Think with me for a moment and try to imagine a football game being played without either team knowing how much time is left on the clock.   The game could end at any time!   A strategy designed for a 60-minute contest would dramatically change.  Coaches would be looking to score on every play and take advantage of every possible opportunity to advance the ball.   No one would know when it would be their last play.

Our lives are very much like a sporting event, but are of incredibly greater significance.   We have a predetermined amount of time which is our lives.   The only major difference in this analogy is that God is the official time-keeper, and we do not have the advantage of knowing how much time is left.

This is all the more reason we have to make certain we give maximum effort each and every day to make the impact we were intended to make.    The ultimate goal is to identify what it is we are led to achieve in the new year and then give it 110%.   One of my personal goals in 2017 is to be more like Bobby.  In 2018, I’ll be able to reflect back on 2017 and say with confidence that I truly “left it all on the field.”

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