There are some coaching jobs that are just not great jobs. Perhaps, in the pros, it is because ownership is intrusive or, worse, incompetent. Or, it is because it is a small-market and resources are limited. Or, it is because it is a once-storied franchise that has long ago lost its luster, and the hue and cry is to “get us back on top.” Perhaps, in colleges, it is because alumni are demanding results, or else. What all of these situations have in common is that they generate extraordinary pressure. And it is not just limited to the bad jobs. Look at Urban Meyer’s back-to-back years of retiring from the Florida Gators after winning national championships. Look at Mark Dantonio of Michigan State, suffering a heart attack after a critical win over Notre Dame. Pressure is there, and it’s tough. As someone said, life is like the weather—there are times of high pressure and low pressure, but there are not any times of no pressure.
Paul talked of this when he wrote to the church at Rome about the pressure of being followers of Christ in a pagan culture—and reminded them that God does not waste anything, even the pressure-packed moments of life. He wrote:
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)
The pressure of trials and tribulations call us to persevere—to endure—but not without purpose. In fact, it is with both great purpose and great resource. The great purpose? That character might be formed in us to equip us to walk this life with integrity and authenticity. The great resource? The Spirit who shed God’s love in our hearts! As the Liverpool Football Club logo declares, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” because in the pressures of life, He strengthens us with His presence and His love and His hope. And in times of perseverance, there is nothing we need more.
Join us tomorrow on Sports Spectrum radio as we take a further look at the need for healthy perspective as we face the pressures of life.
Bill Crowder, Sport Spectrum Chaplain