Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pep Talk: "The Possibility Pool"

Meeting with a bunch of knuckleheads has once again rattled my brain. Here goes.

First, a little background. Each Friday, when not traveling, I attend what I would call a team meeting inside an office just across the street from a nice golf course in Aurora, Colorado. We call it the Platoon. It’s a bunch of dudes from all walks of life coming together to challenge one another to grow in faith.

We gather for a little more than an hour, bust each other’s chops constantly, while still cajoling, comforting and challenging one another to let it be.

Recently the topic was courage. We were studying the Bible, where in Genesis, Abraham is being tested by God. History says the father of the Jewish faith was 100 years old when siring a kid. Impressive. But now God’s telling the surprised but elated father to sacrifice this son, Isaac. Abraham, with great struggle, obeyed God. Is that courage, or stupidity? 

That leap of faith paid off handsomely, as God spared Abraham’s son and bestowed many wonderful things upon him and his descendants down the road. The point for us to think about was this: when is it time to leap into the great unknown with that kind of faith? In a room full of guys, it’s real easy to discuss and affirm. But outside the sanctuary of that room, realities of life smack us in the face. Life often takes great courage.

Before the meeting began I had met a visitor. First time he had ever attended our weekly Platoon gathering. “What brought you here?” I inquired over the din of about five separate conversations pulsating through the room. It’s the usual routine as we warm up in anticipation of challenging one another to become superior to our former selves, when it comes to our faith.

“I’m with him,” stated the bespectacled man, nodding and grinning toward a good buddy sitting on my other side. “Dang,” I countered. “You need some new friends.” We laughed about that and then dove into his history a little. A Colorado native, the man’s descendants settled in northeastern Colorado almost 150 years ago.

Those were crazy times in the history of the Centennial State. More and more white settlers were journeying west into the lands of America’s Native Americans. Battles were frequent.

“My great-great Grandpa headed west when he was 14-years-old.” He then sealed the deal with, “I can’t imagine that.”

Courage. Defined as, “the ability to have bravery conquer fear when facing uncertainty.” It seems we’re constantly playing that game, aren’t we? Courage versus fear? Go for it, or not? What are the pros and cons? It’s a constant dialogue we have with ourselves and others.

Sitting there my brain zips to the men I’m blessed to lead Thursday mornings at the Denver Rescue Mission. We joke at the beginning of our 30 minutes together, “Who planned on being at the Denver Rescue Mission on  - fill in the blank - this date?” Nobody raises his hand. We then agree that, “Hey, here we are. Let’s make the best of it and try like heck to achieve goals and overcome challenges to prevail against what ails us, emotionally, physically and spiritually.”

We talk for 30 minutes about how it will take great courage to change. We encourage one another that, “Yes, we can!” Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Later I recall - my mind wanders occasionally - a hand-written letter from Bud Lathrop, my high school basketball coach. One of my great mentors had sent a congratulatory note about an upcoming event and mentioned in the message, another fellow honoree, “Coach Craddock and I came to Raytown South in 1961. We were the first two coaches hired. The school didn’t even have a gym.”

Courage. It’s required to take that big leap of faith into the great unknown with wonderment as our guiding light. Whether it’s one of the great figures of faith, a teenager heading toward our nation’s developing and dangerous western frontier, two great coaches leaving others job to start a new school, men trying to get off the streets, or you and me. 

The players on stage differ greatly, but all share one thing in common: the necessity to muster the strength to leap off the high dive and into the possibilities pool when we’re called.

One of the long-time members of the group has that challenge before him. Along with his wonderful wife, he’s pondering expanding the family by welcoming two girls, sisters, into their home. The girls have been in foster care after losing their parents in a murder/suicide a few years back.

Courage. It’s required to win the battle over fear about finances, family dynamics and room for two more active kids.

What about you? Me? As I like to ask in live Pep Talk presentations, when is it time to “Run to Daylight?”

Whenever it might be, good luck. Go ahead. Jump into the possibility pool!

No comments:

facebook metwitter
linkd in

Hey Comeback Coach Copyright© 2009

About The Comeback Coach | Contact Us | Links | Privacy Statement