Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Using Your Talents to the Utmost

Did you watch the Giants beat the Bills 17-13 in the Hall of Fame Game Sunday night? I enjoy seeing the NFL kick off another preseason. But I must admit, as a fan, I find it hard to get too excited about the scores or the results. After all, the teams are using these games for purposes other than victory. Instead, they're often testing new coaching schemes, running new plays, determining how the units are gelling together and, of course, trying to sort out which players to keep and which to cut in the weeks ahead.

A while back I came across an article about training camp from Ryan Riddle. It sounds like players think very differently about the NFL preseason than do the fans:

"After the first week of camp, the body has been smashed, tossed and bent so much that you can no longer discern between bruised and normal tissue. Every muscle throughout your entire body is so incredibly sore that the short walk from hotel to practice field is no easy feat.

"Every year around this time, my feet would develop massive blisters on the big toes that were terribly painful. But when you need to prove yourself to the coaches and organization, you do whatever it takes to carry on."

It's amazing to think what a man will sacrifice for his goals -- and how much of himself he will invest to attain them. But you don't just see that incredible sacrifice among professional athletes, you see it in members of our armed forces, police, firefighters, and EMTs. You see it in doctors, lawyers, accountants, salesmen -- all jobs that require dedication, skill, hard work, and persistence.

That's why our occupations are so essential to human society. They may not all be lucrative, or glamorous, or held in high esteem. But as Mike Rowe pointed out in his series Dirty Jobs, our civilization would not survive without men and women who were willing to roll up their sleeves and get dirty.

How does your occupation fit into the "bigger picture" of your community? How is God using your gifts, talents, time, dedication, and energy to make this world a better place to live for your spouse, your children, your neighbors and your friends?

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