In the middle of the summer, the "COVID spring" workouts have been brutal with temperatures at or near 100 degrees and this is a daily reminder of why we have outdoor practices in the spring and not the summer. However, as Christians, we give unto Caesar when our government makes reasonable requests and we go about the business of living our lives and pursuing our goals.
These summer workouts have been similar to the ones we have in August with the one large exception; we still have the workouts in August ahead of us! This means we are going to have to push harder to achieve our goals.
A consistency across achieving goals is there is always a definable amount of work which is needed to achieve different levels of success and while you can not control the outcome, you can control the effort. Too many players become obsessed with the outcome and they forget about the effort needed to influence it.
We all stand in awe of the David and Goliath stories in sports where the underdog defeats the overwhelming favorite; however, we often never pay attention to the backstory. My guess is that David had significant free time on his hands when tending sheep. He could have spent that time on his Iphone, watching Netflix or texting his friends. Instead, I bet he slingshot tens of thousands of stones to the point where he could hit the butt of a fly if asked from fifty feet away.
In 1980, a group of college aged hockey players shocked the world when they beat the Soviet hockey team which was composed of the best professional players. At the time, the U.S. professionals were denied the ability to compete. So, the U.S sent in David to the Soviet Goliath.
This was a team which, in preparation for the Olympics, lost to every US professional team they played and to the same Soviet team by seven goals!
What was the magical formula Coach Herb Brooks discovered? It is the ice hockey version of "Horses" in basketball. Sprints up and down the ice which are today known as "Herbies". Coach knew the only chance the US had was to be in better shape late in the game.
So, at the end of practice, the U.S. team grinded out Herbies. The result was through the first two-thirds of their games at the Olympics they were outscored by opponents 6-9 but in the last period they outscored the opposing teams 16-3.
The world will tell you all you need to do is grind. Do the time, collect the dime. This form of achievement will still leave you empty inside. Yes, the grind is necessary and it is what will set you apart from your peers. However, you must couple it with the pursuit of God's Kingdom plan for you on earth. This requires prayer, supplication and a willingness to listen as the Holy Spirit leads you.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."
God reminds us that no matter how bold our requests may seem, God can do all we ask and much more. God's means for accomplishing more than we can imagine comes through His strength. His work is done by the Holy Spirit's power within us, rather than by our human strength. While our spirit is willing, our flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). Therefore, we must grind with grace.
My prayer every season is that we instill into every team the importance of God's grace in all that we seek to achieve. We learn to humble ourselves so we can be aware of the obstacles before us and what we need to do to overcome them. Then, I pray we possess the personal fortitude to grind and get it done.