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Leave It All On The Field

Thursday, July 3, 2014



"Ladder suicides!...........GO!"


We all knew it was coming.



The rain wasn't letting up anytime soon, and neither was coach. While twenty opponents went cheering onto their awaiting bus, we lined up on the try zone line as coach tossed bright orange cones down the field, farther and farther apart.

My heart just about sank into my stomach.


"Forwards.........GO!"


And then ten seconds later.....


"Backs.........GO!"



Over and over again we ran, slimy mud splattered all over our legs, arms, and faces, yet coach's whistle still blew like clockwork.


By the time the last teammate crossed the line, we were exhausted. A brutal 90 minute rugby game was tiring enough--knowing that you lost 10 short minutes of overtime made it terrible. And more running and working out.....it couldn't get worse. 


"On the ground....LET'S GO!"


Push-ups.


Starting at the milky-brown ground, coming close enough each time to lick it, and with my arms and abs screaming at me.....I was ready to call coach crazy.


What on earth??


Next it was duck crawls, burpees, plank jumps, and military carries. By the end we were soaked in sweat, tears, mud, and cold rain, and only then did coach's whistle stop blowing.


He walked to the center of our group, and said, "We don't go home, till we leave everything we have to give on the field."

He went on, "That doesn't mean we win every time. It doesn't mean that we don't make mistakes, or that we aren't tired. But it does mean that every time we leave a game, we KNOW we gave it our all.


"Now go home, rest up, and I'll see you at practice tomorrow morning at 6 a.m."


Then he walked off.


We walked off that field, still players on the team that didn't win the game that day, but we knew we'd given all we had. And we left it on the field. 

Coach knew we didn't give our all to the game that day, and he was determined to show us we had more to give. He made his point.


In the games that followed, we didn't always win. At times, we limped on the field, puked off the bench, and bled from the sidelines.......but we determined to give it our all. Everything to the game. Not to the game, and then some to the post-game workout we knew would come if we didn't give it our all.

We gave EVERYTHING we had to the game, right then, right there.


That cold and muddy day on the field has stuck with me ever since.

As a missionary, it's easy for me to apply what coach was trying to get across to us that day. Give it everything you have. Don't hold anything back. If you lose, you lose. But don't ever lose, without knowing that you did your VERY best. 

Whatever it is in life that you're fighting for--whatever game you're in--whether you're a missionary, an athlete, a parent, an employee, or a student.......give it your ALL.  Trust in your work, your effort, your practice, your passion, your determination, and your commitment. And then give it all to the field.


Walk off, knowing you did your best, and there's nothing else you could have done differently. Don't waste the time you have, the talents you possess, and the gifts you've been given, only to fall short of the mark and forfeit. Give it all you have. Time goes by all too fast.


Leave it all on the field.......








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