I apologize in advance for this being lengthier than previous posts.
17 years ago, I read the book “Winning Everyday” by Lou Holtz. Lou discussed the importance of setting goals early and stated that his original list had 107 goals. He also stated he had accomplished 99 items to date. So I decided to do the same with professional, family, spiritual, and leisure goals. At the time, I was Throwing a Newspaper Route 7 Days a Week, Teaching Special Education, while Coaching Football and Baseball. No matter how far-fetched the goals seemed, it was important to see my dreams on paper.
Growing up, I always loved stories of medieval times such as King Arthur, Robin Hood, and Joan of Arc. I could imagine the chivalry and bravery in Storming the Castle, Defending the Wall, or Sitting at the Round Table. Those images always gave me the desire to one day walk on the cobble stone, look at the magnificent towers, and experience the feeling once inside the walls. So before my Paper Route at 3:30 am one morning, “Seeing a Castle in Europe”, made the list.
“For We Walk By Faith, Not By Sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7
Just a few days ago, I found myself looking up at the Hohenzollern Castle in Germany. The sight of this enormous stone structure was absolutely breath-taking, leaving you stunned and in awe. Man, what a vacation I planned right?? Not exactly, I’ve never had an opportunity to leave the country until receiving an invite last fall to participate in a FCA International Football Trip. A week working with coaches and teams in the German Football League. We were in game prep mode, so the timing and financial sacrifice from a household of six made the idea seem non-existent. I was encouraged to pray and talk to my wife Ashley. She always has great discernment and her insight is almost always spot on when I need advice. I forwarded her the email, and she quickly responded “I really think you need to do this and be faithful, it will be a great opportunity that you cannot pass up.” A secure commitment was needed early, so I wrote my deposit check, not knowing an agenda or what to really expect.
“Delight Yourself In The Lord And He Will Give You The Desires Of Your Heart.” -Psalms 37:4
Man, I love TEAM…. I love everything about development, working with coaches, and competing for a goal in a cohesive effort… In my week in Germany, not only did I get to share this passion but was inspired to be an even better Coach. The greatest gift we can receive is the gift of genuine relationships. The hospitality, kindness, and welcoming of our group’s partnership was truly indescribable. Each day of work taught me that we all can reach another level of teamwork, hardwork, and coach-ability. I am leaving this country with a greater lesson than anything I could have taught on the gridiron. No matter where you are from, there is Power when people come together for a Common Goal. We all experienced genuine passion for learning and competing as they write their “Chapters of Football“. I am grateful and humbled by the new relationships formed with everyone on this trip. Ultimately being obedient to my life calling led to this opportunity. Amazing what happens when you keep striving and remain faithful… I have learned that living with purpose and consistency is truly a lifestyle commitment. This trip gave the “Real Blessing of Life Purpose” but never expected to fulfill a far fetched goal set 17 years ago at 3:30 am.
“In his Heart a Man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” -Proverbs 16:9
What led to Lou’s 99 goals… being his absolute best at the gifts he was given for this Earth. I have tried to make life decisions out of faithfulness to the Lord’s calling. My experience says to be obedient whether you always understand completely or not. The times I have tried to be in total control has not ended in my favor. I have also found more joy in living for a purpose than short lived goals. However, over my career, several items have been crossed off the goal list and it happens when I live with a “Servant’s Heart“.
We all need to identify our own “Castles” in life. “Castles” give us a vision and direction no matter how far-fetched it may seem. Dream Big and Set Goals knowing your “Castle” can become Reality. The gates will open when ultimately “Living For Your Purpose”.
“You Are Born To Be Special“
The Plan Unfolds With Faithfulness