By John Ed Mathison
Director, John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
Life is made up of choices. Everybody has what could be considered some good and some tough circumstances. What we focus on is a choice. Our choice leads to an attitude of life.
Chuck Pagano is the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Earlier this year he was diagnosed with leukemia and has been receiving chemotherapy. He has been hospitalized most of the fall. He was unable to even visit a practice session or a game.
Sunday, November 4th, the doctors gave him permission to go to the locker room and speak to the team. He was able to watch a Colt victory over Miami from owner Jim Irsay’s suite. He was allowed to come back to the locker room after the game and speak to the team.
In his speech he told his players that they could either live in vision or live in circumstances. To live in the vision means that we are looking to the future. To live in the circumstances means that we can be overcome by the things we face. At the end of the game he told the players that their winning was obviously a choice to live in the vision rather than the circumstances.
Then Pagano gave his personal witness. It was emotional. His speech was punctuated with players saying “Amen.” He told the team that he has got circumstances. He said, “You guys understand it, I understand it. I’ve got leukemia. But it’s already beat! It’s already beat! My vision that I’m living is to see two more daughters get married, dance at their weddings, and then hold up the Lombardi Trophy several times. I’m dancing at two more weddings and we’re hoisting that trophy together, men. Congratulations, I love all of you.”
Pagano recognizes the circumstances, but refuses to let the circumstances dominate his life. They are already beat! His vision is dancing with his daughters at their weddings. He makes the conscious choice to live in the vision.
Pagano reminded the Colts that not much was expected of them as a team this year. They had the poorest record in the NFL last year. They have a rookie for a quarterback. He told them “But you refused to live in circumstances and you decided consciously as a team and as a family to live in a vision. That’s why you’re already champions and well on your way.”
Attitude doesn’t mean that you always win in an athletic contest, but it does mean that you will perform better. A lot of people get surprised at what an attitude of living in the vision can mean. It happened to the Colts in their upset victory November 4th over Miami.
Living in the vision or the circumstances is your choice. Read Matthew 14:22-33. One day Peter was walking on the water to Jesus. Get that – walking on the water! Nobody had ever done that before – not even Bear Bryant! Peter did it as long as he looked at Jesus. Then he chose to take his eyes off Jesus (vision) and look at the huge waves (circumstances), and he started going under.
Living in the circumstances will take you under. The good news is that Peter made the choice to ask for Jesus’ help, and he was rescued and returned to the vision. If we’ve made the wrong choice, Jesus is in the business of bringing us back to Him.
Vision or circumstances – it’s your choice. Set a dancing date!
John Ed’s posts appear each Thursday in For His Glory. To contact John Ed, call, write or email him at:
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