What’s Your Game Plan?

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Today ’s quarterback can no longer be just a great athlete; he must also be a student of the game with an excellent memory. Some teams now have offensive playbooks that boast of 150–170 different plays! Even though players who reach the pro level are already familiar with the basics found in all team playbooks, most NFL teams spend a lot of time in classroom situations, reviewing all the possibilities that exist. In addition to the chalk talks, diagrams, films, and videos, today’s classrooms have sophisticated computers that allow the players to see field situations in several dimensions. Welcome to the world of technology.

However, nothing can replace the intelligence and abilities of a great quarterback.

Many coaches would say that Peyton Manning is one of the brightest guys to ever play the game. He played 14 seasons with the Indiana Colts, was voted four times as the NFL MVP, and is now continuing his legacy with the Denver Broncos. He has proven to be one of the quickest studies the game has ever seen.

In 2012 Peyton was released by the Colts due to the uncertainty about his neck injury recovery and his age. Within a very short period of time Peyton had to learn an entire new system while becoming connected with the established coaches and teammates in order to create an effective offense. At the speed today’s game is played, a quarterback and receiver must precisely coordinate the timing of their moves or there will be disastrous consequences. Peyton’s success shows that he has once again proven that he can adapt quickly to difficult situations.

Despite the ability and experience of most quarterbacks, there are precious few who can move to another team and take over the reins immediately. A dedicated player will usually have to study and analyze for years before his reactions to teammates and new signals become automatic. Peyton’s commitment to excellence, even in his preparation for a game, is a well-known trait.

In order for us to develop great character and be consistent in the game of life, we must dedicate ourselves to the preparation and study of the things that will impact us.

Most folks will spend about an hour a day listening to the radio, watching television, or reading a newspaper to get caught up on the news. Many attend seminars, retreats, conferences, and workshops to find more efficient and effective ways to complete a task, just as a football player must study the playbook.

He carries so many tacklers with him, he’s listed in the yellow pages under public transportation. — Bob Hope, on Marcus Allen

While all these things will help educate and build self-esteem, the real playbook for life is the Holy Bible.

The truths contained in its sixty-six books have not changed in thousands of years. Its message provides answers to the issues challenging us at home, in our place of employment, with our neighbors, and at school. God’s Word is knowledge and wisdom that will inform, transform, conform, and reform our very souls. It will renew our minds and renovate our spirits:

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will. — Romans 12:2

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. — Psalm 119:9

Game Plan:

1. Are you spending time daily in God’s Word?

2. If not, work hard to find some time to set aside to dive into God’s Word. There are so many methods available for Bible study now. Smartphone apps, e-mail devotional programs, and even text message devotionals are widely available. Find a method that works well for you and commit to it — it will change your life!

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Your Turn

We’d love to hear from you! Come join the conversation on our blog! Who are you rooting for in the big game this weekend?

(Note: We’re not cheering for one team or the other here at FaithGateway. The only team we’re rooting for is God’s! But we stumbled upon this great devotional mentioning Peyton Manning in the new book, Guts, Grace & Glory, and we knew we had to share it with you on the eve of the big event! Whatever you do this weekend, we hope you make time for God, food, fun, and fellowship.) ~ Devotionals Daily

Jim Grassi

Dr. Jim Grassi is an international men's ministry leader and has served in the capacity of chaplain with the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco Forty-Niners. He is an award-winning author, communicator, outdoorsman, chaplain, and former television co-host. His practical approach to life and gift of storytelling have been used to teach biblical truth while captivating audiences around the world.

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