The new year brings with it new beginnings and new possibilities. In our house, the new year also means one last college football game– the National Championship! Yes, I am a football fan. Last night, as I and other fans watched a great game played between the University of Alabama and University of Georgia (Go SEC!), a young freshman quarterback emerged in the second half of the game on the Alabama team to lift a scoreless offense to victory. They tied up the game in the last quarter and ended up going into overtime to defeat the Georgia Bulldogs 26-23. Sorry Alabama fans– I was rooting for Georgia. But seeing the heart in Alabama freshman quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, I was won over (it also helped that he is a Hawaii boy and Hawaii will always hold a piece of my heart). His last 2 plays in overtime have stuck with me. — Hang in there with me non-football fans. I have a point I’m getting to– In Tua’s first play in overtime, he was sacked and lost 11 yards–not a great start to what needed to be a game winning overtime for him. Commentators blamed his inexperience and youth on the play, however, in the very next play, you saw him focus and rally to throw a game winning touchdown to one of his receivers. Take a look…
Perhaps your last year (even last few years) resembles the first play in the video. Life came at you hard and has left you feeling defeated, over-powered, overwhelmed, hurt. I think there is alot to learn from this quarterback’s championship story in his last 2 plays that can help us look to the New Year and welcome in change.
- Get back up. That last victory play could not have happened if Tua had not gotten back up. Oh, he was shaken and I am sure feeling the aftermath of that Georgia defensive line, but he caught his breath and found his footing again.
- Let go of regret and hurt. He didn’t have time to wallow in self-pity or regret, nurse his wounds or complain about his hurt. He had to refocus and…believe.
- Believe in the possibilities. He had to focus on his purpose, his job that was before him and believe that he could fulfill that purpose. Shifting from regret and failure, he found hope in the possibilities.
- Take time to reflect. Now, time in a national championship game versus everyday life is relative. In his context, Tua had his head up, reflecting on his options. We have to take time in our new year to reflect on where we’ve been and visualize/determine where we want to be– most importantly where God wants us to be.
- Act in faith. Tua launched his game-winning pass in faith that his team mate would be there. Commentators told the story after the game of how receiver, Devonta Smith, told Tua in their last huddle to “trust” him, he would be there for the pass. The application: We need to act in faith as believers in an all-powerful, all-knowing gracious God trusting in his love, grace and promises (found in HIS Word). This faith believes He CAN be trusted. Interestingly, this young man professed his faith and gratitude to God in his post-game interviews and how his faith in God got him through the game.
So like it or not, the new year is here. The one thing that is certain is change. No matter what you are facing, you have the choice of how you will face it. You can fight it or another option is to find yourself yielding powerlessly to it, tossed in doubt and fear. Another option is to embrace it and see it for all of its possibilities.