Success in the Arena – Leaving a Legacy

 

In honor of the Super Bowl, last month’s article was on The Arena.  The Arena is the placePeyton Manning where legends are born- legends like Peyton Manning.  Most of you know that Peyton just retired from football, after eighteen years of hard work and dedication.  The Denver Post printed an article covering the story called, Peyton Manning’s Legacy Will Need to Be Told By Others. Here is an excerpt from that article,

“At Manning’s retirement ceremony…the final question was in regard to Peyton’s footprint revolutionizing the position of quarterback, and what impact he would have on future quarterbacks. He responded: ‘I can’t answer that myself…’ Peyton would decline to define his legacy. That delineation of influence will be left up to millions of other people…”

Success in the arena has many aspects but, when thinking about the subject, two things really came to my mind.  The first aspect is summed up by this quote from an anonymous author, “Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life, it’s about what you inspire others to do.”  Many of you have experienced success in this area.  Whether you have inspired a student to be the father or mother that God had called them to be or an intern to work for a cause that helps others or maybe you have inspired your own son or daughter to follow in your ministry footprints- success has to do with what you influence others to do- this is an important part of your legacy and those that you have inspired, will tell your story.

Secondly, success in the arena has to do, not just with personal “wins,” but with team wins as well.  Read Manning’s definition of success in the arena, “When I look back on my NFL career, I’ll know without a doubt that I gave everything I had to help my teams walk away with a win.”

This is a challenge to all of us- are we doing everything we can so that our team wins?  Yes, we want personal success and legacy but there is nothing more inspiring than seeing a team play for team success.  It brings great glory to God when His people work together for a common cause and a common victory.  When this happens, no one man gets accolades; the accolades rest at the throne of God.

How do we manage this kind of legacy?  How do we gain the success that inspires others and brings both personal and team victories?  Read what Peyton is quoted as saying, “There were other players who were more talented, but there was no one who could out-prepare me. And, because of that, I have no regrets.”

Peyton Manning was not the most talented quarterback the NFL has ever seen but he arguable was the most prepared.  I want to challenge you today to prepare for success.  The most important and effective way to do this is through prayer and the study of God’s Word.  When we put on the full armor of God, we are prepared to expect, fight and win the daily battles that rage in our lives.  As we focus on preparing for success, we will inspire others, see victories in our lives and in the lives of our teammates. It is then we will leave a legacy for others and we will say, like Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

In the Arena Together,

Brice Maddock  (COO, Teen Challenge Southeast)

 

 

The Arena

Why do so many of us enjoy the games?  We love sports and the contest.  We devour the excitement we see in the arena and, even beyond, into the crowd.  The roar of the football playersspectators is deafening; the anticipation is so heavy, it can nearly be touched.

The individuals in the arena cannot hide.  On the contrary, they can only be seen- in many cases by millions.  The pressure they feel is enormous- pressure from coaches, teammates, sponsors, fans, the media and even family.  The arena is really more like a pressure cooker.  There is often no mercy for mistakes, difficult days or even injuries or health problems.  It’s do or die.  Succeed or fail.  At least that is what our culture says.  People are finicky- one day you’re a champion and the next, you’re a loser.

There is a different way to look at the arena though.  I like Theodore Roosevelt’s description, “The Man in the Arena.”  See if you can relate.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

You are men and women of the arena.  Your audience of One sees your striving and deeds, your enthusiasm and your devotion to a worthy cause.  He is proud of you and so am I.

I Corinthians 15:57-58

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Article by: Brice Maddock – COO, Teen Challenge Southeast