NEXT SEASON

The NFL season has come down to one final game—The Super Bowl. For a total of 32 professional teams it has now come down to the final two. During the season these teams battle for this event that culminates in who is good enough to win-out. In football, if you’re good, chances are better than 90% that you’ll finish the season with a loss.

Each year in the NFL, 12 teams make the playoffs, but only one wins the championship.
Champions spend the offseason reveling in glory and reliving the victory. The other 11 teams often spend the offseason rehashing the mistakes and reliving the disappointment or, at least, trying not to.

It’s actually different for the not-so-good teams. They had time to come to grips with their mediocrity. Midway through the season, most of them knew (Dallas) this wouldn’t be their year. But the teams that make it to the post season keep their hopes alive until that final loss. And it's often a last-minute, heart-breaking loss, like the Jets experienced this year at the hands of the Pittsburg Steelers that prompted head coach Rex Ryan to say at his post-game interview that, “we have next season to fix this, we’ll be back.”

That’s the price you pay for being good. Great teams and/or great players can’t win every championship. But they often get close, and those are the losses that really hurt. That's why those who reach for greatness suffer losses that the run-of-the-mill can’t fathom. It’s the same with you.

If you seek to be among the best, you will also suffer setbacks bigger than the rest. Which do you think hurts more: losing the contract you worked so hard to win ... not getting the promotion you worked so hard to earn ... failing to reach the goal you set for yourself ... or ... watching your favorite contestant get voted off the American Idol? Which hurts more? Which one do you aspire to be?

You’ve heard all your life that only those who dare to dream big can achieve big. That’s true. The flip side is that those who dare to dream big also get hurt big. You face bigger setbacks and feel bigger disappointments. It's all part of the quest to accomplish something worthwhile with your life.

If you feel like your season has ended a little earlier than it should have, remember the words of Micah...Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. (Micah 7:8)

In the verses that follow, Micah talks about bearing the brunt of our mistakes, receiving forgiveness, and experiencing restoration. And he says once again about the God we serve: "He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness." Maybe once or twice you've had a season end too soon. We all have. The good news is that there’s always a season to come. God is bringing it your way.

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