I recently sat with 1,000 men at the GFC Man Event listening to Tony Dungy challenging men in their daily lives. He shared a story from the night the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl that he played in as one of their defensive backs. In the celebration after the win, he shared that he was amazed as he heard the first question poised to quarterback, Terry Bradshaw. “Do you think you can repeat and win the Super Bowl next year?” As the quiet lingered in the sanctuary, Dungy continued with this – “In the losing team’s locker room, the players were asked, ‘How does it feel to fail?”
What a paradox? These men have played this game almost all their lives, honed their skills to the highest levels and prepared their minds, bodies and instincts to play in the ultimate of all football games – the Super Bowl. Yet, upon the last whistle, the celebration was met with questions of what was next. The lack of victory was met with the description of failure, even though they bested every team in the league…but one.
They made it to the pinnacle and found the moment fleeting. What about you and I. When we reach the highest achievement, how long does it last? Whether it lifelong goal, a career achievement, a relational peak – how long does it stay with you? Achievement is amazing – it is tremendous, exhilarating and fulfilling. Until it fades and the hunger for the next comes.
Life’s defeats are challenging – they bring pain, questions and searching. You wonder how you are going to get past it. It stares at you and it leaves you wondering what if? Over time, the scar is healed, the lesson is learned and the question finally surfaces…what’s next?
The Bible says in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” NLT. Whereas life has its ups and down, wins and losses and mountain tops and valleys, the love that Christ demonstrated on the cross never changes. The principles of the Bible are tried and true…they never change. God’s character and nature…they never change.
I have been a Christian for a long time. I have enjoyed some tremendous highs in my life – my marriage to my amazing wife, Kristin, my children and their families, and I get to serve at a church that continues to reach the Tampa community with God’s love. So many great moments. I have experienced challenges – paths that zigged when I wanted to zag, questions that were left unanswered and expectations left unfulfilled.
In the end, I have learned that God has a plan, purpose and relationship worth pursuing. Coach Dungy encouraged us to pursue these things that won’t change with life’s highs and lows. He told us to pursue God daily. God is who the Bible says He is. It is in that relationship, we find peace and hope in life’s pinnacles and valleys. The question now becomes…
“God, what’s next?”