Football is all about numbers; yards gained, penalties assessed time remaining on the clock. But in the end there's only one set that really counts: who won and who lost. Or so I thought, until I watched an interview with Nick Saban, the University of Alabama head football coach, considered by many to be at the very top of his profession.
What, the interviewer asked him, was the key to his sustained success, to all those wins?
"Don't worry about winning," Saban said. "Just focus on doing your job at the highest level, every single play, and the wins will follow."
Easy for him to say, I remember thinking. Until I related that quote to a friend of mine the following day.
"He's exactly right," Susan said. "Last year, I set a goal of writing two books in a year. It was such a big goal, it paralyzed me. I couldn't do it. But guess what? This year, writing just twice a week for my blog, I've done over 115,000 words. The average book is about sixty thousand words, so I've written two books after all."
What does all that mean for you and me right now? I think it means setting aside those big goals--a promotion, losing seventy pounds, winning a bake off--that can be unreachable. I'll try to keep things simple: writing one supportive e-mail each day, taking one volunteer opportunity each week, making prayer a twice-daily pattern, "doing my job every single play."
Thanks, Coach Sabin. And good luck this season . . . though I suspect you'll do just fine.
Let the Tide Roll
"Whatever I do today, God, help me to give it my best effort, trusting that You will use it for Your ultimate ends."
Digging Deeper: Matthew 25:14-30, Galatians 5:16-26
Reprinted from Daily Guideposts 2016, A Spirit-Lifting Devotional, page 313, 110 William Street, New York, New York 10038. Used by permission.