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As a coach, I love watching other coaches. It always raises my game to watch a great coach interact with an athlete. There is a special bond that forms between coaches and athletes which is unlike most other relationships. Coaches must be able to connect with athletes on a deep level. They must work to build trust and comradery all while fostering a spirit of humility. It’s true, pride always comes before the fall. I’ve been enjoying a series on Amazon Prime called All or Nothing. The show follows an NFL team for an entire season giving viewers a behind the scenes look at professional football. And part of that access is to conversations between coaches and players. Last week I heard something that really stuck. A player was struggling with motivation. Have I got your attention now? It was late in the season and the games, practices, and meetings had begun to add up. The player was having an honest moment with his coach and being really vulnerable. It’s nice to know that even million-dollar athletes struggle with motivation. Then the coach said this – “Excuses will always be there, opportunity won’t.”

Now, don’t puff up and think this coach was being mean. Believe me, it’s exactly what the player needed to hear. And sometimes it’s exactly what we need to hear. Can I get an amen from anyone who thinks the year 2020 has been difficult? We have seen some really crazy stuff so far. Stuff that can catch you by surprise, throw you off track, or even make you have to reorient your life entirely. The challenge is maintaining your perspective in the midst of all the chaos. Because chaos, a.k.a. life, can sap your motivation. Rarely does your motivation leave instantaneously. No, it’s usually a slow process resulting from the daily grind. I’ve watched people lose their motivation and it’s tough. To be honest, I’ve lost my motivation plenty of times. The death of loved ones, the loss of a job, a mandatory quarantine, an unexpected illness or injury, all of these have affected my motivation at one time or another.

But here’s the great news! What takes weeks or sometimes months to burn out can take a moment to reignite. When I say reignite, I don’t mean a full-on fire. I’m talking about a spark. But a spark in the brain is all you need to get the motivation train back on track. Coach said, “Excuses will always be there, opportunity won’t.” Opportunity is the spark. Opportunity is the lens that allows you to look at life differently. And he’s right, it won’t always be there. Your kids won’t always be young, your office won’t always be at home, your work travel won’t always be canceled, your life on this earth will come to an end. Excuses will always be there, opportunity won’t.

Today you’ll read about a guy who had been struggling. Someone close to him had been afflicted with a terrible illness, and all his efforts to help had failed. So, he went to the one person he thought could do something. He wasn’t sure, but given his other options, it looked like his only opportunity. And that man’s life completely changed the day he called out to Jesus. Excuses will always be there, opportunity won’t. Carpe Diem!

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