Winners Find A Way, Losers Find An Excuse

HannahCockroft_2979311

I have little patience and less tolerance for lazy athletes. And since we are all playing in the “game of life” it follows that I detest lazy people. But let’s focus on athletes, for now. Laziness (also called indolence) is disinclination to activity or exertion despite having the ability to do so. It is often used as a pejorative; related terms for a person seen to be lazy include lazybones, loafer and just plain slacker.

Those that find excuses are lazy. Let’s look at the first part of the definition: laziness is disinclination to activity, or more precisely, productive activity, despite having the ability to do so.  Lazy athletes have ability, but lack culpability.  In other words, they don’t take responsibility for their actions. They lose and they accuse.  They fail and they complain.  It’s always someone else’s fault. They point fingers, lay blame, accuse and impugn.  They criticize their teammates and everyone else for their own inability to get it done. If it’s not the referees, it’s the weather; if it wasn’t the play calling it was the injuries. It’s always something.

Hannah Cockroft is not lazy. “Within 48 hours of birth, I had suffered two cardiac arrests which went on to leave me with brain damage on two different parts of my brain, deformed legs and feet and weak hips. This meant that doctors predicted that I wouldn’t be able to walk and would rely on a wheelchair to get around for life.  Years of physiotherapy, standing frames, walking frames, splints and twisters began, and at 3 years old, I took my first steps. 

A fighting spirit has been a recurring theme throughout my life, and so has seen me go on to attend mainstream nursery, primary and secondary schools, being the first disabled student at all three and coming out with top grades, showing the world that nothing was going to hold me back. As long as my family is behind me, I’ve always been determined to go on to great things.” [1]

HannahCockroft2

Hannah Cockroft is not lazy. Through dedication and very hard work and the ability to dream very big, she was able to work her way into becoming a solid contender on the start line of the 2012 London Paralympic Games. “Although it was my first games, the pressure was wasted on me and the nation’s ‘sweetheart’ thundered into the record books, bringing home double gold and breaking four Paralympic records in the T34 100m and 200m.”

Those that find a way are successful.  Those that find a way are resourceful. Those that eventually find a way, no matter how strong the struggle, no matter how furious the fight, will not resort to blame games or finger-pointing.  They refuse to throw stones because they know they live in a glass house.  They will always look in the mirror. David prayed that God would “examine my heart and my mind” (Psalm 26:2, NIV)

Stop making excuses.  Look at yourself in the light of God’s love.  Make adjustments where necessary.  The Apostle Paul gave us this exhortation: “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.” (2 Corinthians 13:5-6, New Living Translation).  

So find a way.  Someway, somehow, winners always believe, always strive to achieve, and always, always believe victory is within reach.  Never, ever throw in the towel.  Always encourage, edify, and increase yourself and your teammates. Never, ever tear down, degrade or denounce yourself or your team.  Always practice and participate, always give energy and effort, and always be willing to sweat and swagger – all are necessary in order to win. Anything less is sheer laziness. 

Beating The Odds

 Michael Orr I-Beat-the-Odds

Beating the Odds is a common sports phrase. Michel Oher, subject of the film, The Blindside, has a book out entitled “I Beat the Odds.”  Another football giant, Rocky Blier, the former all-pro running back who played for all those championship Pittsburg Steelers teams in the ‘70s, began a foundation called “Beating the Odds.”  The motto of the foundation is this: “The Power to succeed in the face of obstacles comes from within.”

http://www.beatingtheodds.org/site/default.aspx?PageID=1

The woman with the “issue of blood” had an issue she couldn’t solve. Her determination to get to Jesus, to succeed in reaching the only hope she had, the power to succeed in the face of obstacles, came from within.  She was stuck in a no-win situation and her faith was her only ticket out.

She is described as a “woman in the crowd (who) had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse” (New Living Translation).

This no-name, nobody – this silent, sickly woman came out of nowhere.  She seemingly had nothing going for her, and everything and everyone was against her.  First, she was a woman.  An ancient Jewish Rabbinic prayer was this: “Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has not made me a woman.” (Morning Blessings, Artscroll Siddur, p. 12.)  Jewish tradition honored the birth of a male child.  Women were not honored and were resigned to be keepers of the home and be their husband’s helpmeet.  Second, she was without a husband, or at least no husband is mentioned. Third, she was sick. No family is mentioned, and even though she spent all she had, she may not have had much to spend. The odds were against this nameless, faceless, penniless invalid woman in the crowd.

Enter Jesus.    Continue reading

A Win, Is A Win, Is A Win

 vince-lombardi-SI Cover

Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

We all want to win big. But winning big all the time just doesn’t happen. Sometimes mistakes get in the way and we barely eke out a victory.  Football mistakes include a running back’s fumble in the red zone; a place kicker’s field goal attempt missing wide right; a quarterback’s poor throw leading to an interception.  Missed tackles, holding penalties and blown coverage’s are also mistakes that diminish the luster of a victory and take away from the overall performance of a team. But what’s important is not the mistake, but the recovery.

We all don’t play football, but we all are on the football field of life trying to score touchdowns or at least kick field goals.  So, spiritually speaking, what do you do when you fumble the ball, or throw the interception, or miss the field goal?   What do you do when you miss the tackle or get caught holding or miss an assignment? You get over it.  You get over it, quickly, and keep playing.  You are not the mistake; you may have made a mistake or two, but you are not defined by the physical limitations you may have or the foibles you may make; this is true only if you get up and try again.

Winning all the time is a mindset. Winning is all about how you see yourself. Continue reading