You are only as good as your last performance.
Just ask Blair Walsh. The Minnesota Vikings kicker was almost perfect when it came to chip shots, having made 33 of his last 34 field goal attempts inside the 30 yard line. But almost perfect is not perfect, which means that occasionally he will miss a 27 yard gimme.
And when he does, especially in an important game, it will not matter that he had previously kicked all of his team’s points that game, or that he is one of the best kickers in the NFL. Because he wasn’t perfect on that day, Walsh wasn’t good enough.
It feels great to be at the top of your game. The fans, coaches and commentators love you and you can do no wrong. At least, until you do – like fumble or throw one too many interceptions. Then watch those same folks abandon you faster than integrity from a presidential candidate.
Consider my man, 5 time NFL MVP Denver Bronco quarterback, Peyton Manning, who has passed for more yards than any quarterback in league history and yet was benched this season for not being good enough. The prince of the pocket had fallen from grace. Instead of leading Broncos in the backfield, Peyton was put out to pasture to lead their colts on the scout team.
Perhaps you, too, once were all that. Respected, admired, loved – a crowd or at least a family favorite. And then you screwed up big time or got old or otherwise lost your Midas touch, and suddenly you were no longer good enough.
Or maybe you never were good enough to begin with for this harsh, demanding, unforgiving and fair weather world.
The truth, whether we recognize it or not, is that none of us are good enough and we will never be good enough because none of us are perfect. We will miss the mark. We will disappoint people. We will fail. As my other man, Mack Powell of Third Day sings:
“Well no matter who you are and no matter what you’ve done, there will come a time when you can’t make it on your own”
It is when we finally accept and embrace the fact that we are not good enough on our own, that God delivers the good news. Regardless of the world’s fickle opinion of us, God says that because He created us in His image, we are not just good enough, in His eyes we are very good.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them…. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:27,31.
“When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:4-5
“So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31
That’s right, sports fans – God loves you and says you are valuable to him. Not because of anything you have done, so it doesn’t matter if you are a hot shot or a societal nobody. God loves you and says you are good enough because of who He is and what he has done – a merciful, grace giving, faithful Father who gave the life of his only Son to redeem you. And just as a good father on earth loves his kids without them doing anything special to earn that love, so, too, your good heavenly Father loves you.
You are of great value to God. So don’t sweat your last performance. He isn’t keeping score. And while God celebrates the wins with you, he celebrates the losses even more, because he understands that they drive you to your knees and turn your heart toward Him faster and further than any win ever could.
While you may not be all that all the time, you, Blair and Peyton can thank God that He is.
Karen Wilson is happily married to her main man, Mike Wilson