Purpose and Pressure

Here’s some of what I realized watching the 2014 NCAA College Football National Championship.

While Auburn appeared to maintain their composure as a team throughout the game, Florida State seemed shocked from very early in the game that they were not dominating Auburn. I told one of our sons that FSU has to make an adjustment (mentally) at halftime.

At the end of the game a reporter spoke to the Florida State quarterback, Jameis Winston. “After struggling through the first half, what was the biggest adjustment you guys made at halftime?” the reporter asked. “We had to go back to playing Florida State football. We were letting us be bigger than the game. We were bigger than the game… then we had to say, ‘let’s play Florida State football, because nobody can be bigger than this game.’ …And we did that, and we came out victorious,”Jameis replied.

It is fair to say in summary that the Florida State players lost their purpose, playing as a team towards a goal, and tried to play the game as individuals. They were failing, and not sure why as is evident in another quote from Jameis describing the first half, “I was so outcome-oriented. I was like, ‘Man, I’m trying to blow those boys out.’ I had to remember, ‘Hey, I’ve got to respect the game. I’ve got teammates around me. I’ve got a team for a reason, so I can’t go out there and do stuff by myself.'” Fortunately for FSU, they figured out their error at halftime, and returned to their reason to exist – to be a Florida State football team. The second half was a success for FSU even if they had lost the game.

You may gain wealth or power beyond belief, or even pastor a church of ten thousand people. But if in your heart of hearts why you do what you do is foremost focused on these things, and the rush that comes with them, then your not living up to your potential, to your true purpose. In essence, it may not look like it from the outside, and sometimes it may not even feel like it, but when something fails to serve its ultimate purpose, its reason for existence, the reality is, it’s failing – period!

Your “why” (why you do things) needs to come from your heart, not from rewards or punishment or any other pressure. The ultimate heart with the ultimate right motive is one devoted to knowing and following the Lord. Start and stay there, and move among life as He leads.