Blessed Are the Plodders
"No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven."1
Several years ago King Duncan of Dynamic Preaching shares how "Vince Lombardi has often been described as the greatest football coach in modern times. He was a tremendous motivator. Before a group of sportswriters, he was once asked to explain why the Green Bay Packers won so many ball games. Everyone was expecting some profound insight into the complexities of the game of football and the unique genius of a coach who was about to unravel the mysteries of his success. Instead, his response was simple and straightforward.
"He said, 'Football is a game that requires you to move the ball 10 yards in four attempts. Football games are not won on 50-yard pass plays or 90-yard running plays. They are won by moving the ball 10 yards in four attempts. The other team will do everything in its power to prevent you from achieving this. So it is a game of who's best prepared. Who wants to win the most, and who never loses sight of the fact that all you have to do is move the ball 10 yards at a time.' Vince Lombardi was a winner because he never lost sight of the importance of plodding."
Lombardi wasn't saying that we shouldn't have worthwhile goals. Not at all. His goal was to win football games. Our goal as Christians is to win at what God calls us to be and do. And that isn't achieved overnight. It's steady plodding all the way—year in and year out. As with the Apostle Paul, we don't win the prize from God until our life's work on earth is done.
As the Apostle Paul also said, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for the high calling I have in Christ Jesus. Help me to keep my eye on the goal You have called me to reach for in what I become and in what I do with my life in serving You. And help me to never give up, so that in the end I will be a true winner in Your eyes. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT).
2. Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV).