New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick is considered one of the greatest head coaches of his generation, with multiple Super Bowl trophies and, perennially, one of the most dominant teams in the National Football League. He was not always a head coach, however, and the hints of his success at football’s top level were seen clearly in his earlier years as a defensive coordinator. Belichick cut his teeth as a film rat—studying, dissecting, and evaluating the next opponent’s offensive scheme so that his defensive game plan would effectively dismantle that offense. The fruit of hard work, long hours, and keen football insight, those game plans were keys to victory—particularly for the highly successful New York Giants teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s. As defensive coordinator for the Giants, Belichick’s ability to generate a solid game plan for his defense was a significant part of their winning Super Bowl XXI over the Denver Broncos and Super Bowl XXV over the Buffalo Bills. Having a solid game plan was a critical element to the Giants’ success.
In life, as well as football, we face challenges that demand that we be as prepared as humanly possible. Where do we find the seeds of a wise plan for approaching life? To respond by saying that we turn to the Bible would seem to some to be trite and clichéd, but it is nonetheless true. In the wisdom of the Bible we find ideas born in the heart and mind of God that can guide us through life’s monumental moments. And, of all of those great words of strategy for living, few rise higher than a verse quietly tucked away in the minor prophets. The prophet Micah declared:
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8).
To say that this is a wise strategy for life is to state the obvious. It points to the heart cry of our world (for justice), the desperate need of our generation (for mercy), and the privilege of the child of God (to walk humbly with God). This clearly is a holistic response to a world in desperate need that mirrors the heart of our loving God for that world. It is not human wisdom, however, that brings us to these lofty ideas—it is the wisdom of God expressed in the Bible. And just as we are dependent on Him to reveal these values to us, we are dependent on Him for the grace to live them out. Only as we lean upon the Creator will we be able to embrace and, ultimately, enact a wise game plan for life.
Join us tomorrow on Sports Spectrum radio as we take a further look at the need for healthy strategies as we face the challenges of life.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain