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Encouragement for Cultural Warriors from the Coach

January 12th, 2014 3 comments

Lombardi

Vince Lombardi, the storied coach of the Green Bay Packers, was an astute student of human nature. He was familiar with the weaknesses of mere humans and possessed a special ability to inspire the men he led to achieve great accomplishments, both on and off of the football field. His inspirational life was filled with pithy nuggets of wisdom. One of my personal favorites is this one:

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

Have you ever been there? It’s so easy to get weary in well-doing, especially when there seems to be an unrelenting assault on our most cherished values accompanied by overwhelming feelings of helplessness as to what I can actually do about it!

In his book, Dream Energy, author and business consultant, Bobb Biehl, addresses the problems we face when we are fatigued. He writes, “Not only do humans get cowardly and timid and security-oriented when they’re fatigued, they also tend to get introspective and negative. They question, ‘Can I do it? Am I going to make it? Will it work?’ As a result, they begin settling for the “realities of life” or “the way things are.”

For those who have been actively engaged in the cultural battles before us, Biehl’s analysis is all too accurate. In fact, there are many good people who have thrown in the towel and chosen a more restful and reflective life rather than jumping back into the ring to re-join the cause. They are tired. They can’t add another thing to their plates. What difference does it make, anyway?

If that’s you, listen up! Recognize the root of your problem. You have grown weary. You’re tired. Fatigued. Be encouraged! There’s a solution for fatigue. Here’s a few practical things I do to keep my battery charged and my head, and heart, in the game.

1. Honor the Lord’s Day: Honor the Lord and set aside Sunday to worship Him and to unplug. No work. No calls. No emails. Re-connect with Jesus. Make sure your relationship with Him is fresh and current.

2. Prioritize Time with Your Spouse: Your spouse should be a source of encouragement and refreshing. Every soldier needs to be able to retreat from the front lines to a place of renewal safely away from the bullets and bombs of life. Schedule time to be alone with your spouse.

3. Exercise: This is a hard one. As your responsibilities increase so do the complexities of life. I have a large family and multiple hats. Life is crazy. Time is at a premium. Yet I must prioritize the care of my body or everything literally shuts down. What you like to do varies. The point is, do something. It will relieve stress, clear your mind and renew your strength.

4. Pray About Everything: When the battle gets intense, pray. Seek the Lord at the start of each day. Give your efforts to Him. Seek His wisdom and favor. And then trust Him for all you need. Or you can just freak out, throw something and scream until you have a stroke or a nervous breakdown!

5. Meditate on God’s Word First: Some people begin their day reading the newspaper or listening to the talking heads on the news. Then they wonder why they are becoming increasingly cynical and jaded. Instead of listening to the ones who report on the news, why not learn from the One who is the Lord of History itself. Listen to what the Creator and Ruler of the planet has to say. Place greater value in His perspective. Learn to see life through His eyes. Hear what He says about the issue. This will fill you with faith as you head out to face Goliath.

This list is certainly not exhaustive, but it represents five best practices, five smooth stones,  that have helped me avoid cowardice by staying in a place of ongoing refreshing. Where’s that giant?!