Monday, January 9, 2012

All in . . . All the time

I’m a Clemson Tiger. My blood runneth Orange. And when it comes to my team, I’m all in . . . all the time.

But sweet mercy.

For those of you who don’t follow college athletics, Wednesday night the Clemson Tigers faced the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Orange Bowl.

Clemson was favored to win.

Clemson got juiced.

When the last drop of dignity had been squeezed from our orange peel, the Mountaineers were victorious in a stunning 70-33 final.

It takes a true believer to wear the colors on the day after a loss like that. To acknowledge that we blew it in every way imaginable, but still have hope for a new day, a new season, another opportunity to return to the Orange Bowl and emerge victorious.

I love the idea of being all in. It’s how I want to live my life. All in . . . all the time.

Whatever God has for me, I want to charge down the hill onto the field and face it head on. After all, if God is for us, who can be against us! I’m favored to win. All the time.

And some days, I do. I take the field full of the Holy Spirit and when children whine, I pray. When laundry mounts, I praise. When agents reject, I rejoice (ok . . . maybe not . . . but you get the idea).

Then there are days where the score swings wildly. I stumble, make poor decisions, and drop passes. Thank goodness for half-time where I regroup and end the day on high note.

But some days . . . the kids take turns getting up all night and my defense is worn out before the sun comes up. I’ve been sacked six times before breakfast, and even three cups of coffee aren’t enough to prevent me from throwing two interceptions before lunch. There are missed tackles, fumbles, and poorly executed plays.

I have to wonder if that “great cloud of witnesses” is squirming in their seats wondering what happened to their girl. Where’s the mighty warrior of yesterday? Where’s the comeback kid of last week? Why can’t she throw up a few blocks? Why won’t she use her shield of faith? Her breastplate of righteousness?

Do they watch as I collapse into bed, sick with the knowledge that not only was today a poor showing, but one I’ll regret forever? Do they wonder who will show up the next day—the star quarterback or the third string kicker?

‘Cause lets face it, in this game, no one can blame the Coach.

I’m so thankful God doesn’t watch my “Orange Bowl” performances and give up on me. When I’m in the locker room, spent and humiliated, He reminds me that I may have lost this game but the Eternal Championship is already in the bag. His Son won that battle on the cross (talk about being “all in”).

And while I sometimes embarrass myself on the field, the truth is that His Spirit lives inside me and empowers me to run the plays God calls.

Have you already blown it in 2012? Yeah. Me, too.

Let's put the “Orange Bowl” behind us.

Our Coach forgives when we ask and He never gives up on us.

Today is a new game day. We can choose to wallow in past defeat or charge the field confident we will win.

I'm all in . . . who's with me?

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)

Congratulations to Liz! She's the winner of the Tony Dungy One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge! Thanks to all who participated!


Vonda Skelton said...

Wow! What a great analogy! I can't wait to share it with my brothers and sisters, especially the Clemson fans. :-)

Jamie Britt said...

Lynn, I love the analogy! While I'm not a sports fan, I totally understand about being all in, all the time. There are days when I make fumbles and stumbles, but I'm so greatful that God is there to tell me to try again, and he doesn't give up on me. What a comfort that is for me on the days when I just want to walk off the field and throw my hands up in utter defeat and humiliation. Oh and by the way, you used my life verse there at the end, Lamentations 3:24! That's an extra bonus! Love you my friend!

Susie said...

Wow, Lynn. That was great! Looks like Clemson's huge defeat had a higher purpose, to remind us that there will be more games to play and we will win the ultimate battle. Let's get out of the locker room, hold our heads up and try again because our Coach has not given up on us! Thanks

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Vonda - thanks!
Jamie - those are some of my favorite verses, too!
Mom - Thanks! I knew you would like it. :-)

Sandra said...

I'm all in!!! I hope you already know that! Loved the post!

Debra Koontz Traverso said...

Lynn, this was a wonderful analogy. But, I gotta tell ya, I bleed blue and gold....that of a Mountaineer. So, I was happy with the result of the Orange Bowl. Therefore, let me extend the analogy the other direction, using your greater focus on's always amazing to me how God can deliver unexpected blessings into our laps when the odds say no-no-no. He's a gracious and amazing God and so superior to our stats and our numbers and our odds. When we least think we can, a prayer and a response later proves to us we can! Really enjoyed your posting!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Sandra - Thanks! And yes, I knew!
Debra - I will try not to hold this against you! And I love your point! Thanks for sharing :-)!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Sandra - Thanks! And yes, I knew!
Debra - I will try not to hold this against you! And I love your point! Thanks for sharing :-)!