The ‘trappings’ don’t change the ‘execution’

With college football ramping up into some feverishly-competitive match-ups tJudi 2013his weekend, it’s hard to ignore the hype, even if you’re not one of those who ‘Love Purple Live Gold,’  ‘Roll Tide,’ or even ‘Sic ‘Em, Bears!’ Each of these teams – and many more – are working hard to prepare a game plan that will outwit, outsmart, and outscore its competition. But even with the best laid plans, on any given night, it’s anybody’s ball game. Yep, even the underdog can upset the favorite and wreak havoc on the BCS standings.

So, who really has the advantage? If everyone knows the underdog is capable of an upset, how does a team maximize its preparation? While listening to some ESPN Game Day interviews last Saturday, I heard the previously-unbeaten Miami Hurricanes coach address the issue of playing still-unbeaten Florida State in Tallahassee in the loud and intimidating Doak-Campbell Stadium. Al Golden said he wasn’t worried about facing the Seminoles with their home field advantage (what he called “the trappings”), Instead, he surmised, “It all comes down to execution, two acres, and a ball.”

Thanks, Al, for reminding me that it’s not so much WHERE I’m pursuing my God-calling as it is HOW. How well am I executing the plan I’ve been taught and have practiced, wherever I am? Sure the ‘stadium’ and ‘fans’ (or lack thereof) can impact my performance but neither of these trappings should be the deciding factor in the consistency of my obedience.

Well, as we know, it didn’t turn out so well for the Hurricanes; FSU blew them away with a final score of 41-14. But neither team knew what the outcome would be when they started. Thus, the players hit the field with the expectation that, because of intense preparation on both sides of the ball, their efforts would pay off. May you too have a game plan of obedience that focuses not on the WHERE but on the HOW so that you can faithfully execute the call of God on your life both now and in the future. And THAT’s worth cheering for!

Judi Jackson

[Associate Dean of Students, Coordinator of Women’s Programs]