This past Monday the Vikings played against the Green Bay Packers. I did not get a chance to watch the game but I did get a chance to watch the highlights on ESPN that night. Like always, they were showing the major plays of the different games. They got around to showing the play from Adrian Peterson that I have posted below.
At first they just showed the clip and as I was watching it the first thing that came to my mind was, “OMG seriously why is he so focused on watching himself run, he needs to just get in the end zone.” It was obvious to me that he was looking up at the jumbo screen as he ran but I did not understand his reasons for doing so until they showed the video again but this time with commentary from the analyst; I just assumed he liked watching himself run, lol.
The analyst basically was applauding him for being so aware of his surroundings by utilizing the jumbo screens to see how near or far his opponent was behind him to see if he had enough to get in the end zone (paraphrasing). When he said this and then replayed the video I was stunned. As I re-watched this I came to the conclusion that this is the same mindset we should have when pursuing our goals/visions/destinies while in the midst of adversary.
I am so use to seeing players just turn his head to see who was around him so this action of looking up at the screen was new to me. So after reviewing this play again with the help of the analyst I learned a few things about spiritual battles.
Don’t lose sight of what is in front of you regardless of what’s around you.
Turning around may cause you to lose forward momentum and it distracts you from what is most important; which is what is ahead of you and not what is behind you. Adrian had to fight through many obstacles and tackles but with each tackle attempt he added a little bit more power behind his run. Every break through that you experience in life should also motivate you to press even harder!
Not once did Adrian look back; instead he glanced briefly a few times at what was behind but maintained his gaze on what was in front of him which brings me to my next lesson, which is…
Act like you know and use what you.
The big jumbo screen was a tool that Adrian chose to use to help him accomplish the goal that he was after…a touch down. I would assume that if no one was close to him he probably would not have ran as hard and fast but by using the tools he was given, he was able to see that a swift and hard run was very necessary considering his opponent was drawing near.
If we were to correlate this example to our life then Adrian would be us, Green Bay Packer’s defense would be the enemy, the end zone would be our goal/vision/purpose, and the jumbo screen would be the bible. While we are running this race in the midst of trouble, chaos, and obstacles I’d imagine that the things that we would see on our jumbo screen would be scriptures like:
- “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” – I Peter 5:8
- “And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” – Luke 22:31-32
- “…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” – Ephesians 6:18
- “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” -Matthew 26:41
It is no shocker that we will be faced with some troubles here and there and it is should not be a surprise to you that satan desires to attack and destroy you before you can reach all that God has for you. He will send out many to try and “tackle” you but it is your job to just push them off and press on even harder until you have reached the goal!
No one said it would be a cake walk into the end zone but we are given so many tools (scriptures) to get us where we need to be so it would only be wise to use what we are given to make us better and to propel us forward.
These scriptures lead me to the next lesson, which is….
Lesson # 3
Go hard or go home.
Adrian’s story of recovery after set backs is in itself an amazing testimony but this particular drive was cool to watch simply because it allows us to see that no matter what happens…if you are going to do something then you need to be either be all in or all out.
No, the road may not always be easy but one thing we do need to do is fight hard all the way to the end! Even when you are inches away from “stepping out of bounds” and quitting, you still need to remain on the straight and narrow path and press with all you have.
Breaking all of those tackles and then stepping out of bounds without gaining the touchdown wouldn’t have been as exciting of a story as this one was. What makes this one so exciting and worth talking about is the fact that although he was so close to being pushed out of bounds and so close to stepping out on his own…he didn’t. He held his grounds and fought to stay in even though when stepping out looked a lot easier. In the midst of all of that and when the odds were stacked against him…he defied all and succeeded. You, too, can and should do the same.
∆ Phone God: Dear Dad, thank you for providing me with the best tools ever to accomplish what it is that you have sent me here to do. I pray for more wisdom as I continue to press forward. Thank you for blocking for me and continually pushing me closer to my destiny. In Jesus name, Amen.
∆ Chew on this:
- Read and re-read the “jumbo screen scriptures” above.
- “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” – Job 14:1
∆ Ponder on this:
- What do you give most of your attention to? What is in front of you or what is behind you?
- How can you re-direct your attention and focus if it is off?
∆ Act on this:
- Find some scriptures that you can put on your “jumbo screen” to help you run better in life. Write them down and put them where you can be reminded of them daily.