Over the last year or so I have been watching a TV show called Undeniable with Joe Buck. Joe interviews different sports figures and takes almost an hour to dive into where they came from, what got them to the point of success in their given sport and ultimately “where do you go from here?”.
I recently watched an episode that was on Brett Hull. Brett went from a kid who quit the game at 17 years old, to a college stand-out, most goals as a rookie, two-time Stanley cup winner and ultimately one of the NHLs top goal scorers (#4 all time). At the end of the show, Joe asked Brett, “What makes a great goal scorer?” Although Brett said several different things, the one that stood out to me was “you have to be able to see/find the dead space” … that space where somebody isn’t!
I have watched most of the episodes of this series and one thing that seems to stand out in most of these athletes is “VISION”! Whether it is literal like what Brett Hull described or figurative like the way Emmitt Smith described as he wrote goals and envisioned himself at a young age as a running back for the Dallas Cowboys and being the NFLs all-time leading rusher! I have never heard him speak on this, but as a kid I watched … was mesmerized by … Ervin “Magic” Johnson! Talk about vision. He could see the “dead space” or where his teammate was going be and make the most amazing passes I have ever seen! Magic ended up with a career point total of 17,707 (19.5 ppg), BUT with a career assist total of 10,141 (11.2 apg). I don’t really follow the NBA much anymore, but the little I have watched I don’t see too many unselfish players like Magic Johnson today.
So, where is this going besides aging myself? Not many of us will be professional athletes and even fewer will rise to the level of Brett Hull, Emmitt Smith and Magic Johnson. BUT … we ALL need to have a vision. Where does that come from or how do we develop that seeing the dead space ability? As a believer, it has to start with God! Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight.” Similarly, we are instructed in Psalm119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” So, it would make sense that we have to be in the Word! You have to be willing to do God’s will, whatever it may be or may cost! In Luke 9:23, Jesus tells us that “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Sounds daunting on the initial reading of it, but when you consider that He would never ask you to do something or go somewhere that He hasn’t ALREADY prepared you to do or go … it eases the burden quite a bit. We need to pray for God’s will to be revealed and also pray that we may be spiritually perceptive enough to discern it! And … where I need to be reminded … Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.”
I had a situation recently where I really wanted to throw my name in the hat for a spot in our organization that was being vacated. On one hand I really wanted it, but on the other hand there was potential for it to actually work against me and my family. I had drafted an email to that supervisor, but I had a check in my spirit that was holding me back. I finally just deleted the email and prayed that if God wanted me to have it, it would happen outside of my influence. The next day I received a call from a friend in a completely different part of our organization, where an opening hadn’t even been announced yet, asking if I would like to come work with them! With only a four or so years left until retirement, this other department will be much better for post-retirement employment should I want/need to do that! That whole turn of events has absolutely nothing to do with me, but with a God who is so loving that he cares about every thought or decision we have to make! To HIM be all glory and honor and praise!!!
Father, help each of us to see your will for our lives through YOUR eyes … with YOUR vision … through the lens of YOUR plan for us. Let us see the “dead space” you have has us go through, but keep us from the space that leads to death. In Jesus name, Amen