The Power Five Athletic Conferences are those whose members are part of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of NCAA Division I, which is the highest level of collegiate football in the United States. These conferences are the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the Big Ten Conference, the Big 12 Conference, the Pac-12 Conference, and the Southeastern Conference (SEC), respectively.
As a native Georgian, I myself plan to be ensconced in front of the television Saturday afternoon at 4pm, pulling for my beloved SEC Eastern Division Champion University of Georgia Bulldogs, and against the SEC Western Division Champion Louisiana State University Tigers. A lot is at stake, as the winner will progress to the NCAA Playoff; while the loser might easily be excluded by the selection committee.
Of course, it takes a lot to be a champion. Among other things, it requires raw talent, technical skill, a thorough knowledge of the game, and an enormous amount of personal discipline. But mostly, it just requires passion! Passion to give it one’s all; and then to give it one’s all again, and then again, and again, and yet again…
Famed Christian communicator Paul W. Powell once described this sort of passion when he told the following story. It seems that...
An old experienced coach was trying to train a young coach in recruiting. As he rehearsed the procedure, he emphasized the kind of players he wanted at his school. He said, “Bill, you know there are different kinds of players. And, some of them, we don’t want at our school.”
Then he said, “There are some players, who get knocked down, and when they are down, they stay down.” The young coach, eager to impress his boss with his understanding, said, “Yes, coach, and we don’t want those kinds of players at our school, do we?” The coach said, “That’s right!”
Then he said, “There are some players who, when they get knocked down, get up. And, when they get knocked down a second time, they stay down.” The young coach said, “Yes, coach, and we don’t want those kinds of players at our school, do we?” The coach said, “That’s right.”
Then he said, “There are some players, who when they get knocked down, get up again. And when they are knocked down a second time, they get up again. And, every time you knock them down they get right back up again.” And the young coach said, “Yes, coach, and that’s the kind of player we want at our school, isn’t it?”
The old coach said, “No, we want the guy who just keeps coming back and knocking all those other guys down!”
That old coach was pretty wise! He was looking for whoever the one was that was doing all the knocking! In other words, he was wanting to know: “Who’s that knocking?!”
Passion, of course, is a powerful thing. It can drive a man to play football with all his might. It can also drive a Fortune 500 company, or a political movement, or a scientific revolution, or a quest for discovery, or any one of a million other things. It can also drive one’s work for God!
Ferdinand Foch is once reported to have said that the most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire! The Apostle Paul seems to have had something similar in mind as he penned several of his New Testament letters. For instance, in chapter 10, verse 31 of his First Letter to the Corinthians, he writes “So … whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Later, in chapter 3, verse 23 of this Letter to the Colossians, he states: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…”
This weekend, hundreds of collegiate athletes will give their all for an earthly victory, a metal trophy, and the acclaim that accompanies such things. In spite of this, before long, all that they have done will soon be forgotten. For invariably, next year, yet another champion will be crowned to supplant them.
In light of this, the real question is: “What all will you and I give for an eternal victory – one that will never be either supplanted or forgotten?!”
POWELL STORY: https://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php?id=146507.
FOCH QUOTE: https://leadershipnow.com/passionquotes.html.
SCRIPTURE QUOTES: https://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/10-31.htm; and