Excellence does not mean
we have to be the best in the world …
We just have to be our best, right where God has placed us. This is how Daniel lived his life. He didn’t try to defeat the people around him just so he could get ahead. He did his job with utmost excellence, and God took care of the rest. The same is true for us.
We are huge college football fans. There is something really special about a packed stadium. We love hearing the pounding drums and screaming students and watching the schools go to war on the gridiron. Since we were kids, we wanted to see Notre Dame play Michigan in South Bend, Indiana—one of the oldest rivalries in college football history.
One day a good buddy …
and former player offered us tickets to this legendary game. So we loaded up our boys and headed to South Bend. We hit the pep rally, took a tour of the locker room, ate tailgate food until we felt we were going to pop, then walked into Notre Dame Stadium and took in the game. What a memorable weekend for us as dads, just getting to hang with our sons, and “bro it out” for a few days.
But the most memorable part of the entire trip was not the game, the nostalgia, or even all the barbecue we shoved down our pieholes. Our unforgettable moment happened the night before the game. We attended an event where Lou Holtz, head coach of Notre Dame from 1986 to 1996, was the keynote speaker. In 1988, Holtz led his team to a perfect season, winning the Fiesta Bowl and the national championship. He shared stories of former players and behind-the-scenes details on the road to becoming a champion. They may as well have played the theme song from Rudy because we were all ready to jump out of our seats! Lou is a riveting speaker.
But Holtz said one thing that night we will never forget. He said he always gave one piece of encouragement to his team before a big game, telling them, “You don’t have to be the best team in the country—you just have to be the best team in the stadium.”
That profound statement clicked in our hearts, turning on a whole new light. Be your best—in whatever stadium you’re in. God has put each one of us in our own “stadium” with a specific set of talents and abilities designed for the task He wants us to accomplish. Each of us is one player with a position on His team. But He doesn’t ask us to be the best in the country at something—He just asks us to be the best in our stadium, living faithfully right where He has placed us.
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