On Wings Of Eagles

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

How Do You Handle the Defeats?

Some people believe that Joe Montana, who played most of his career with the San Francisco 49ers, was the best quarterback in the history of the National Football League. He was an artist with the short pass. He threw long so rarely that rumors had floated around that he had a sore arm. John Madden once asked Montana about his style of play. The conversation is interesting.

"Are you going to start throwing deep?" asked Madden before a Super Bowl game.

Montana never batted an eye. "No," he said.

"Why not?" Madden pressed. "Is your arm sore?"

"No, my arm's not sore: I can throw deep," he said. "But we don't have any plays to throw deep. We never practice throwing deep."'

"How come?" Madden asked.

"Look at our practice field here," Montana said. "Most teams have two full hundred-yard fields, one grass and one artificial turf. But we only have one field that's half grass and half artificial turf. When it rains in December here, the receivers have to wear either artificial turf shoes or grass shoes, depending on which half of the field we're practicing on. If we practice on the grass half, the receivers don't want to run out on the artificial turf with cleats. If we practice on the artificial turf half, the receivers don't want to risk falling on the wet grass with their artificial turf shoes. When we practice plays, we put the ball on what would be the twenty-yard line, so I've got only about thirty yards to work with. You can't throw deep in thirty yards. Even in the pregame warmup, it's the same situation. You only have half the field to work with. That's why I don't throw deep."

Montana only had a short field to work with, so he became a master of the short pass. What would some other people have done? They would sit around complaining that they didn't have two practice fields like other quarterbacks. Montana didn't complain, he conquered. He took his problem and turned it into a profit. To borrow from Robert Schuller, he turned a scar into a star. What can we do when we get knocked down? We can turn a defeat of the flesh into a victory of the spirit.

As is Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness.

- Psalm 48:10 (New American Standard Bible)

Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, We ask that you will help us to turn our defeats into victories. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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