What do you do when you have a dream and everyone around you is telling you it’s time to let it go?
That was a question that Kurt Warner had to answer for himself in the 1990’s. He believed he had a lot to offer the Green Bay Packers when he started to play for them. Then just five weeks later Warner was let go. It seems the team didn’t see what Warner saw in himself. It seemed many of the other teams couldn’t see it either.
So, what would you do?
I’ll tell you what Kurt Warner did. He began stocking shelves in a grocery store for $5.50 an hour. At night he did his work at the store and during the day he would help care for his future wife’s children and continue to make sure he was in the best shape possible for when he was picked up by one of the NFL teams.
After a while Warner went to play for Arena League Football – all the while holding on to the dream he held in his heart. It’s wasn’t long before friends began to encourage Warner to let go of his dream, encouraging him to do something else with his life. He was 27 years old – too old for an NFL quarterback by most standard.
That was when he had to make a decision that would define his life. He could give up. He could do something else. But Warner believed in a God of second chances, and that thought compelled him to keep working out, to keep reaching out, to keep trying out. The coach of the St. Louis Rams agreed, telling Warner that he saw something different in him that deserved a second chance. The rest, as they say, is history. Warner went on to become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
Now Warner and his wife, Brenda, work to find ways to give other people the second chances that they believe everyone deserves.
Often times, when signing an autograph, Kurt Warner will write a scripture verse. Not really as an evangelistic tool, but as a way of reminding himself of what empowered him to make that life defining decision to keep on trying. The reference is:
Colossians 3:23 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…”
I believe there are times when we get close to that point when we feel as if our dreams have slipped out of reach. Perhaps the odds are stacked against you – age, education, income, sexual orientation, gender. There may be people who truly love you, who may be the very ones encouraging you to move on – to let go – do something different. You may feel that way, as well.
That’s when you will face your defining moment. Will you trust God to empower you to get you where God has called you to go, or will you turn and go another direction? (God won’t condemn or judge you for that decision.) My suggestion is that you do what Kurt Warner did – find a Bible verse that inspires you, gives you direction, offers you hope. Second chances are often just around the corner.
Here is a real challenge, when you have stepped into your second chance (or third or fourth), then find a way to help someone else experience their own second chance at accomplishing their dream.
Ripples of transformation often start with one small touch. This is the Wesleyan way. Inner transformation finds its expression in an outward focus on helping someone else to know what God can do.
WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH TODAY’S DEFINING MOMENT?
In Christ’s Service,