Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Winners Always Want the Ball

Posted: November 11, 2010 in General Life
Tags: , , , ,

As I promised in my last post, there is a second line from the movie, The Replacements, I really love.  You can check out the first post here.  The second line is spoken by Gene Hackman’s character, Jimmy McGinty.  As a coach of a bunch of replacement professional football players, his job is to quickly take a group of has-beens and never-was’ and turn them into a real team.  The star player, former OSU quarterback, Shane Falco (played by Keanu Reeves), choked in the big game back in college, and that fear followed him into his new stint as a pro player.  Throughout the movie, his fear keeps him from taking risks.  He is more afraid of failing than he is hopeful to win.  His fear cripples him.

After a crucial play gone wrong, Falco is called over by McGinty.  When asked about the play change, Falco responds with “I read blitz”.  McGinty responds with “Winners always want the ball… when the game is on the line”.  McGinty knows that fear will keep a man down.  He also knows that to overcome that fear, to seek a goal and to push to win is what separates the winners from the losers.  It just boils down to one thing.  Winners want the ball.  Everyone screws up.  Everyone fails.  Everyone looks like an idiot sometimes.  Winners get back up and try again.  They do not let fear keep them from achieving.  They want to win, they want to try again.  Especially when things are tough, and when there is much at stake. Winners always want the ball.

I know in my life, I screw up a lot.  I don’t always make the right decisions.  I sometimes allow a perceived blitz to force me to hand the ball off to someone else.  But I want to succeed.  I want to win.  I can sense my own fear, but I try to use that fear as a force forward, not as a push backward.  I am not afraid to make mistakes, even though I still make them from time to time.

If you can see your own fears, and your reactions to them, you can start to change the patterns in your own life that keep you down.  If you start to notice these patterns, try changing them.  Look at your life and try to learn from mistakes.  Don”t let your past mistakes keep you from trying, and don’t let possible future mistakes keep you from moving.  I know that God is on my side, and I know that when all is said and done, I cannot truly lose.  If you know that He is there for you, what do you have to lose?

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I performed my first wedding this past weekend.  An old Army buddy asked me if it would be possible to get my license to perform the ceremony, a thought that hadn’t ever really crossed my mind until then.  I went to my church’s pastors and asked them if they would help me through the process, and they obliged.  So, I told my friend I was able to do it.  We were all pretty stoked about the idea, but for me, nervousness crept in quickly.  And by nervous, I mean really nervous.  I haven’t ever been more nervous about anything in my life.  I think the stress is what caused the upset stomach I dealt with for 5 days.  I didn’t want to screw up the start of two people’s life together.  In front of all their friends and family.  And on camera.  Not with Youtube and Failblog lurking in the shadows.  So I was nervous.

Nervousness can be fairly destructive, ruining many experiences, or even causing people to forego certain experiences altogether.  Fear is a big motivator, but it is also a big de-motivator.  For me, the two are closely linked.  I get nervous when my fears take hold of my thoughts and run rampant.  All I can think about is how horribly wrong things can go, and how everything is going to suck, and nothing good will come of anything.  My irrational fears push aside my rational thought until all I’m left with is doubt.  The problem is that when I start to go down this road, my view becomes very narrow, and all I see before me is failure.  The worst part about all of it, is that I forget that there are friends around me to help and support me.  I lose sight of the joys in my life, and the opportunities laid out before me.  I get caught up in the negative and forget about any positive.  That’s not a good place to dwell.  The stress takes a toll on my body, and my mind.  It’s not healthy to live under fear, nervousness and anxiety.

Jesus said we should not worry.  He instructs His followers to leave things to God, and allow Him to take care of it all.  Jesus wants us to live our lives unburdened with stress and fear.  These things will drag a man down and keep him from enjoying life.  Trusting in God does not mean He takes away all pain and suffering, it means that we trust that He will bring us through.  When we actually trust in God, we can let go of the worry, the fear, the stress. It isn’t easy to give it up (which is why I’m writing my second blog entry about stress in a little over a month) but we need to, if we plan on living a fruitful life.  The fear will keep us away from the beauty of life.  We must rise up and not allow our doubts to control us.  We need to follow God when He pushes us forward, not wondering how it will work out, but trusting that He knows how.  Our job is to go where led, not to come up with excuses about how things could fail.

There were many times over the past few months where I tried to figure out how to bail on doing this wedding.  I was so stressed and worried about it that it actually made me sick for the better part of a week.  I made the decision to do it, so I had to follow through; plus, there was no time to call in a backup a week before the wedding.  I am so glad I decided to stick with it.  The wedding was in Oregon, a place I have never been before, but had heard a lot about.  If I didn’t go do this wedding, I would have missed seeing the Pacific Ocean again (it’s been many years since I have seen it).  I would have missed visiting a place where the weather was cool all day long, the trees and fields were green and lush, the people were friendly and only slightly odd… I would have missed a lot of wonderful things.  I was reunited with old friends, and met new ones.  I even had the honor to be an integral part of the new life two people will now share as one.  Not many people can say that.  I could have missed all of that.  I am grateful that my friends wanted me to be a part of their lives in such an amazing way.  I am grateful that God placed me in the situations He did, so I could be able to legally perform weddings in the first place. If only I would have given my fears and doubts to God, I would not have been as nervous and I would have been able to enjoy the weekend even more.  Maybe that is a lesson I will keep and apply over the rest of my life.  I don’t want to miss out on amazing blessings just because I can only see how things can go wrong.