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Now that the first two weeks of college football are in the books and the NFL season is getting ready to start, teams, coaches, and players around the country are already beginning to feel the pressures of being evaluated on their records and performance by self-proclaimed experts.

Will you let an outsider determine your Identity, Value, and Worth? I want us to spend a few moments rethinking God in sports. For instance, why is almost everything accepted under the disguise of competition? Why do teams rapidly say the Lord’s Prayer before the game? Why do some players say they are preparing for battle or are even going to war, some with painted faces? Over the last fifty years, I have been a player or coach of a team. I have seen and heard about everything in this profession. It is time to address some of the lies we have been told so we can begin to live FROM the truth in the arena.

With all the talk of results, records, and rankings, getting caught up in all the buzz is very easy. Every week, the experts declare their top 20 and call out those whom they deem as the winners and losers based on their records. Colorado, Florida State, and Texas are the big winners over the last two weeks, while LSU, Clemson, Florida, and Alabama have been declared the losers. Have YOU ever thought about what happens inside the heart of winning and losing? I am talking about the tiny dash separating the W-L record of 2-0, 1-1, and 0-1. The DASH is where LIFE happens. What does YOUR dash look like currently? How are YOU on the gameday headsets or sideline during a game? How do YOU address your team after the game, win or lose? How do YOU handle your staff the day after the game?

Over the last two weeks, I have seen coaches and players alike on national television proclaim that they are a WINNER or they want to WIN. What does it mean to be a WINNER? In all my years, I have never met anyone who does not want to WIN, but I have met many coaches and players who did not understand how to WIN and, even more importantly, what it means to WIN. So, can I challenge YOU to rethink WINNING momentarily while most of the season is still in front of us?

This fall, I am helping out at a local high school, and we are 0-3, but inside the DASH, a lot of LIFE is happening. We are experiencing numerous growing pains because of tragedy, depth, and youth. We have nine seniors and eight juniors, and our two starting quarterbacks are tenth and eighth graders. On top of the everyday challenges of growing a team, we lost our starting left tackle in a car accident.

The DASH between the WIN or LOSS is the process of WINNING. What if I told YOU that YOU and I have already been declared the victor, and YOU can experience His rest before we even start? After a tough loss this week, one highly respected coach recently commented, “We need to fight and grind to be successful.” For so many of us, we spend most of our time trying to get into a room we are already in, which causes so much pressure and anxiety.

If Jesus were a coach, would He have been called a WINNER, LOSER, or just VICTORIOUS?

Let’s remind one another as we walk along the sideline to walk in the light (believing what Papa tells us is already true about us) as we go through the rest of the season as one who has already been declared VICTORIOUS!

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