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  • Pastor Ralph

One and Seven

For three years, I coached high school football. I love the sport and really enjoyed working with the coaches and kids. The first year I coached, we had a dismal record: seven losses and one win. We probably had the worst record in the league. The way it worked was that all teams entered the playoffs – win you go on, lose you were done. Our team was super talented but could not seem to get it together. We were beat by teams that were not as talented as us.

As we entered the playoffs I told the kids, “Hey guys, this puts us in a perfect position. First, no one is going to take us seriously and the fact remains it doesn’t matter what has taken place before – it is only what we do in the upcoming games that will count.” We did our homework. We prepared properly, learned from our mistakes and stepped onto the playing field looking forward, not dwelling in the past. We played on the road and won our first game, won our second game and went on to the city championship at the old Ivor Wynne Stadium. We played against a good team. The kids' athletic abilities took over and we won, becoming City Champions with a one and seven record. We were the least likely candidates but we moved forward in a positive direction. We went on to play in two more city championships.

I share this with you because I think it is so important to learn from what we perceive as mistakes or failures – to grow through them and to look forward for opportunities on the horizon. The Book of Proverbs guides us in this process.

Use trials to grow (Proverbs 17:3). When we go through the furnace, know that you and I will come out stronger and wiser than we were before. Try not to repeat mistakes (Proverbs 26:11). We need to learn from mistakes and grow when called upon with creative solutions.

Respect our elders (Proverbs 30:7). Take in the wisdom of past generations. Be open minded to look at options. Learn, learn, learn (Proverbs 18:2 & Proverbs 1:5). Use your speech to build up relationships (Proverbs 15:1). Surround yourself with wise people and LISTEN (Proverbs 14:7). Don’t hold grudges they weigh you down, let Christ’s love be your guide (Proverbs 10:12). You cannot set aside hard work and effort (Proverbs 6:6-11). Stay humble (Proverbs 3:7). REMEMBER, if you seek wisdom you will find it (Proverbs 2:4-5).

I think that as we live our Christian lives, acquiring Biblical Wisdom should be our goal. It helps us, like my team, to move forward. Life is a process of ups and downs. We all drop the ball from time to time. It is part of the process. But as much as possible, we need to grow, develop and reflect a life of wisdom. May wisdom be our guide!

God bless – be safe – Pastor Ralph

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