Pep Talk

What’s the greatest “pep talk” you’ve ever heard? One of the most famous is the “win one for the Gipper” speech delivered by Notre Dame football coach, Knute Rockne -- later popularized in a movie.

A personal favorite of mine comes from the movie Hoosiers, when the small-town high school basketball team from Hickory, Indiana first walks into the massive gym where the championship game will be played. As they stand in awe of the facility, looking overwhelmed, the coach pulls out a tape measure and has a couple players measure the height of the goal and the distance to the free-throw line. They report the measurements and the coach simply says, “I think you’ll find it’s the exact same measurements as our gym back in Hickory.” The players smile and immediately get the point. This big gym may look intimidating, but the parts that matter are no different. The scene always gives me chills.

Now I’m going to ask you to do a quick exercise with me. I want you to think of something that worries you today. It could be something big or small, life-changing or trivial. If I ask, “What’s got you down right now, what comes to mind?”

Now here’s your pep talk.

“I will say to God, my rock, ‘Why have You forgotten me? Why must I go about in sorrow because of the enemy’s oppression?’ My adversaries taunt me, as if crushing my bones, while all day long they say to me, ‘Where is your God?’ Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:9-11 HCSB)

Later today that worry that’s eating at us is going to rise to the surface again, and maybe again and again. Our challenge is to hold onto this example and give ourselves a quick internal pep talk.

“Why this turmoil within me? My hope is in God.”

Our circumstances may change, and sometimes may be intimidating. But the part that matters is no different. Our God is no different. Lace up your shoes and get in there.

By Mark Stuart

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