Leveraging the Anticlimactic in Your Favor

He was a senior competing in his greatest season yet. He scratched his first throw and his second wasn’t going to get him into the finals. This was his last chance. Do or die. One good throw could buy him at minimum three more throws in the discus ring. At best it would extend his season one more week and send him to state.

His face was as flint. Poised and focused, he entered the ring, centered himself and began his wind up. His movement was a mixture of spinning and sprinting, but as the discus flew out of his right hand he couldn’t control his powerful momentum and his right foot stepped over the line that plagued so many other throwers that day. Foot foul. Scratch. No mark.

As was his nature, he calmly walked out of the ring and over to his coach. They spoke quietly. But in those moments of quiet, thoughts roared through the mind of both athlete and coach.

Minutes later he spoke up and said, “Coach, I feel like this entire year whatever sport I’ve been in my seasons have ended so anticlimactically.”

Isn’t that how we’ve all felt at one time or another?

I’ve spent so much time and energy and this is it? I competed and now all that’s left for me is a silent walk back to the bus?

Coach took a breath, looked into the young man’s eyes and what he said next grabbed my very soul.

“It may feel that way right now, but let me assure you: this is just a tiny moment in the span of the dash that is your life. I know who you are and your life is going to be anything but anticlimactic.”

Tissues, please.

We all face these moments where we compete to win the day. For most of us that moment occurs in the privacy of our souls and only the grandstand of Heaven is watching.

Some compete for a crown that is seen, but there is a crown that is forged in the unseen. It’s called integrity.

Integrity in our culture is reduced to being a whistle-blower or being honest even when it’s inconvenient (it is those things, of course). It’s more than that. It’s wholeheartedness.

When you’re in the ring competing and you come up short for your goal, it’s possible to walk away feeling like you are “less than.” You just took a risk. In front of other sets of eyes. And it didn’t work out. Which thoughts will win the day in your mind, your heart and your very being?

Knowing who you are in Christ is the first step to winning the day and overcoming the “anticlimactic.”

Let me be very clear. Most of our culture (me included) is obsessed with entertainment and excitement. We will do just about anything to get our dopamine levels up. Unfortunately, many of us are willing to take on whatever addictions to push those thresholds higher and higher. We over-stuff our brain because are terrified to deal with the vacancy of our souls.

Knowing who we are in Christ helps us get in the frame of mind to understand we were made to know and be known. If we believe that God loves us with an everlasting love and desires for us to know Him, then I believe we can move past a momentary letdown. We have a vehicle that helps us move through the emotions of “I came up short again,” and into, “The atmosphere here is better because I showed up and allowed myself to be seen. I will learn from this experience and use it to overcome the next challenge. Christ in me is enough. I won today because I chose to rely on Christ to be myself. The world doesn’t need a watered-down version of me. I don’t have to alter who I am to gain the approval of man. Christ calls me to pure, unadulterated authenticity.”

I’d love to hear how you’ve learned to leverage the anticlimactic moments in your life to allow Christ’s character to be formed in you.

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