The NFL playoffs began last Saturday with what was expected to be the least interesting and most predictable game of the playoffs— the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints versus the woeful, 7-9 Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks, of course, are the first team in NFL history to go make the playoffs with a losing record, so it is no surprise that the Saints were a heavy favorite and were expected to easily cruise to victory. Not so fast. The Seahawks, led by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and running back Marshawn Lynch gave the Saints all they wanted and more. It has been said that half of success in life is just showing up. The Seahawks showed up… big time. Instead of listening to the naysayers who thought they should be excluded from the postseason party, Seattle made the most of their opportunity and beat the heavily favored champs in a slugfest, 41-36. They may not win another game this postseason, but they have already accomplished more than anyone expected. Good for them. Sometimes, when we feel overwhelmed by the obstacles we face, we give up—when the necessary first step is to show up. This was certainly true of the young shepherd boy, David. When the rest of Israel’s army was backing away from the giant Goliath, David not only showed up, he stepped up. It is that willingness to make a difference that put him in a position to win the day—and eventually becomes Israel’s king. So the question is this—when the odds seem insurmountable and defeat a foregone conclusion, will we give up or will we show up, ready to give our very best? Paul gave his answer in one of my favorite Bible verses:

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Galatians 6:9)

The first step to any victory is as simple as that. We have to be willing to show up. Bill Crowder, Sport Spectrum Chaplain