Monday, January 26, 2015

Wisdom from a loss

(Picture of Ryan Picket courtesy of Wikipedia; who played for the Packers from 2006-2013 and currently plays for the Houston Texans. After a tough loss like that, I couldn’t bring myself to put a picture of a current Packer.)


It has now been 8 days since the Green Bay Packers heartbreaking loss to the Seattle Seahawks and the end to their season. This loss was particularly difficult because of the way that it happened. The Packers were up 16-0 at the end of the first half, only to be outscored 28-6 in the second half and overtime.  The Seahawks put 15 points on the board in a span of merely 45 seconds just to stay alive. The Packers were then able to push the ball down the field and score the tying field goal to push the game into overtime. In overtime, after winning the coin toss, Seattle wasted no time. They marched down the field in 6 plays for 87 yards, including the game winning 35yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse.  To many who watched the game, they are still in disbelief. The way the Packers let this game slip out of their hands, made it one that many players and fans alike, will not forget for a long time.
The question that Mike McCarthy, his staff, players, and the Packer organization as a whole now face is, where do we go from here? No matter what the Packers try to do to erase this loss, it has been etched in stone. How do they move on? How do you move on? Is there anything that they can learn from this loss or do we just mope about what could have been?
The question of how to move on is a difficult one when you have just experienced a defeat or failure, but it’s one that we must not avoid. It’s okay and encouraged to grieve the loss for a period of time, but we must move forward. When we face a difficult defeat there are questions we must ask ourselves. First, take some time to look at all the positives leading up to the loss, during it, and what is possible in the future because of it. Next, you need to look at the negatives. What are the missed opportunities? Where did we let up and not give it our all? What can we learn from our mistakes and how can we prevent ourselves from making the same mistake(s) next time? Then, move forward. Don’t allow this experience be the one to knock you out! Allow it to be fuel in the fire. Know that you can’t win them all and that you can’t win unless you play!



Thoughts?
What have you learned from a time that you’ve lost/failed?
What helped you the most during that time?


Remember:
Next time you lose, Remember to learn from it, use it to improve your game, and get back out there!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Doors





Let me set the stage for you: It’s a beautiful Midwest morning in January with temperatures that are unusually high (above freezing) and the sun is shining. My wife and I met two of our friends for coffee at the local Starbucks to catch up on life. I get the new flat white (essentially a stronger espresso in a latte billed as a cappuccino with less foam) and my wife goes with one of her favorites, a green tea Frappuccino. We get our drinks, our friends get theirs and we sit down to enjoy great conversation over some delicious beverages. Then as we are getting more engaged in conversation, Mother Nature hits and I need to make a quick run to the facilities. I speed walk over to the restrooms (trying to waste as little time as possible, for more than one reason) and make my way to the door. When I approach the door, I turn the handle down with a bit of force to try and quickly open it, but it’s locked. I proceeded to wait outside of the bathroom door starting to get a bit impatient, I must admit. I knock on the door to try and encourage the gentleman to speed up the process, so I can take care of my business and return to my table. Then a few more minutes go by (what felt like an eternity but was probably about 5 minutes) and I decide that I’ll give the handle a jiggle and a good pull to make sure that this guy knows someone is waiting outside. When I jiggle the handle up and down and pull, the door flies open. Shocked, I cautiously glance into the doorway to ensure that this guy (that has been taking his sweet time) was not exposed for all to see but as I moved my gaze into the bathroom, I discovered to my amazement that it was unoccupied the whole time!


           I think in life there are many times that we approach other “doors” the same way. We barely knock on the door or give the handle a gentle turn and when it doesn’t open we assume it’s in fact locked, that it’s not the door for us. Now don’t get me wrong, when it comes to opening bathroom doors there should be a good deal of caution involved because there is typically only room for one. No two doors are exactly alike. No two experiences or choices are the same. We must hold on to the wisdom from our past experiences but approach the new ones with a fresh perspective. So when you approach an experience or choice where you try to open the “door” and it doesn’t open on the first try, don’t assume that it’s occupied, that it’s not the right one for you. Make sure that you just didn’t turn the handle hard enough or the right way, because all to often we tend to give up too quick, and get left waiting outside to use a bathroom that is not even in use!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Underdogs





This weekend is the NFC championship game; Green Bay Packers led by Aaron Rodgers will enter Century Link Field to play the Seattle Seahawks led by Russell Wilson. The Seattle Seahawks are defending champs, who embarrassed the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl last year by a score of 43-8. The Seahawks are on a journey to be the first team to win back-to-back super bowls since the Patriots did it in 2004 and 2005. The Green Bay Packers fell to the defending super bowl champs in week 1, 36-16. The Seahawks are a sizeable favorite this weekend; playing at home, with an offense led by Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch and a defense led by Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. To say the least the Packers are considered the underdogs tomorrow. But is being an underdog such a bad thing? Just because you’re an underdog, does that mean that you are not going to succeed? The Packers are still led by one of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL (whose calf is hopefully somewhere near 80-90%, wishful thinking I know!), have two fantastic wide receivers in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, a good running back in Eddie Lacy, and some playmakers on defense with Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, and Tramon Williams. You can’t rule them out, they are in the game, any team that is still in the playoffs lacing up their cleats tomorrow has a CHANCE.

            When we are reminded that the odds are stacked against us, how there is no way that we will be able to come out on top, how do you respond? Do you give up or press on? Do you agree with them putting up your white flag or do you refuse to believe that you don’t have a shot and march forward with everything you’ve got? What are the things that help you to be able to press on?

            Now I know that realistically tomorrows game verses the Seahawks is going to be TOUGH one to say the least, but my hope is that the Packers give it everything they’ve got and leave it all on the field. In your life, when you feel like the odds are stacked up against you, don’t just give up and throw in the towel! Press on, push yourself to continue, DON’T GIVE UP! Give it your best shot and know that you gave it your all. There are many stories about Underdogs overcoming the odds, pushing forward, and accomplishing the unthinkable!


Today is your day, leave it all on the field, and don’t you dare give up on me!







Galatians 6:9
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

James 1:12

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sunrises.


I love sunrises; they are a sign of a fresh start and an awesome expression of God’s beauty in the world. I am thankful that during this season of my life, I am able to see the sun rise on a regular basis on my way to work. I am reminded that today is a new day, I am alive and well, God is good, and that anything is possible! This is officially the new start to my blog. My goal is to share my thoughts, observations, experiences, and other random thoughts from my day to day.  

What is something that you get lost in? What reminds you of a new beginning?

.love.

Lamentations 3:22-24

“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.’”