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A lesson in Perseverance

The Stanford cardinals put themselves in a hole, trailing by 12 in the 3rd.  Those in the stands likely thought the game was over at that point.  Louisville was clicking from the beginning of the game.  The only thing they didn’t do well was rebound, but connecting on 5 3’s before half time kinda makes you overlook the rebounding disparity.  So how in the world did Stanford come back and win a game that they probably should not have won? 


        Perseverance:  The single most important topic coaches talk about and preach in every practice and every huddle.  It’s our go-to verbiage when things are not going as planned.  It’s the word we use to motivate our teams to do something amazing.  For many it’s just another word in the dictionary, but for some, the meaning is much more.  See in order to actually persevere, you have to possess the will to do it.  There has to be something inside you that is unwilling to stay in the predicament you are currently in.  In addition to will power; you must have confidence.  You must be willing to accept that you may actually still fail even if you give your all.  Many athletes are not willing to do that; hence the reason perseverance doesn’t always work. The majority of athletes hear the word persevere and think the word means they have to win. In actuality, this is flawed thinking and just flat out wrong.  Persevering is simply getting through the rough patch you are currently in, making it out of a situation and feeling accomplished. 


        As Stanford was falling behind in the first half; I’m willing to bet perseverance came up.  Their leader was 2-11 from the field, the only thing they had going was rebounding.  It would have been easy to feel sorry for themselves, tuck it in and be happy that they were 1 of 8 teams still playing.  Instead, they decided to try this thing called "perseverance" for real. Stanford came out of the second half, almost an entirely different team.  You could see the energy was different, they moved a little faster, they cut a little harder, and they attacked a little more aggressively.  As the possessions became more critical you could actually see what perseverance looks like.  They were pushing through their situations, taking it on the chin, and keeping with their identity. 


        In order to truly persevere, you must understand that you are not defined by a situation that is not in your favor...you rise above the things that are not going your way.  You must be willing to keep going with the same or more energy despite what anyone else may feel.  Simply put, you have to be tough enough to withstand the bumps and bruises, but not lose yourself in the process. Do we find ourselves looking at others and admiring and blaming our misfortune on our circumstances. Or do we focus on OUR goal?  Stop admiring and become admired!
James 1:12 ESV

        Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.