When You’re Shut Down, Lean In. And Be Set Free.

Disclosure: I am a Florida State Seminole.

And a rabid college football fan.  An only child, I was my Ohio State Buckeye father’s substitute son during the heyday of Woody Hayes’s Big 10 championship teams.  I even went to the Rose Bowl as a kid.  And the Orange Bowl, and a few other bowls too.  Safe to say, my favorite season is college football season.

But I graduated from FSU, so it was with a great sigh of relief when the clock ran out last night, and FSU had more points on the board.  It was kind of dicey there for a while.  (And please, FSU/Jameis Winston/Jimbo Fisher haters or Auburn/SEC lovers, don’t trash this post just because it’s a way for you to have an outlet against… something.)  Almost every year, since the Bobby Era, I’ve had to put up with my husband, the Gator & SEC fan, triumphing within our household.  It’s a little tiresome each year having to smile and say “Congratulations Hon, your team and/or conference did great!”  And live with all his family’s little jabs at my beloved Noles.  Some years, you just get shut down.

And then last night, during the BCS National Championship game, it was all Auburn for at least the first half, if not well into the 3rd quarter.  For the most part, FSU’s offense and defense were shut down not in their entirety, but in their intensity.

If you watched the game, we can debate what the turning point was, be it the fake punt, or maybe the 100 yard return, but the fact of the matter is, at some point during the contest, the Seminoles shifted their game plan, and began to execute like champions.

At some point, they let go of preconceived ideas and plans and plays, and leaned in to what they knew.  Sometimes, in my own life, I am shut down by outside forces, or even inside ones.  I’m not beyond making choices on my own that ruin the good things God has laid out for me.  My personal game plan often is imperiled by not being able to see the whole field like He can.  I make decisions that are stifled by fear, uncertainty, and more on most days.  Much like the Seminole football players last night, I can be blinded by the magnitude of a situation for a time.  But when I stop and lean in to what I know – God – and do what He’s given me the ability to do at that moment, then I am set free.

Set free from my fears and my doubts and my strangleholds.  I’m set free to live the abundant life that He has for me.  I, too, am a champion.  His champion.

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