The Buckeye's played hard. It was a well matched game. I was proud of them. But sometimes it's the extra effort, the passion of players that makes the difference between win or lose.
Football is four quarters. Players have to give their heart and soul for the entire hour of play.
In the 2003 BCS Championship game against Miami, Ohio State was on the verge of scoring when Craig Krenzel threw an interception to Miami safety Sean Taylor. OSU phenom, Maurice Clarett, CHASED HIM DOWN and stripped the ball.
It change the game.
How often do we see players chase down their oppenent after a bad play or turn over. Clarett had a passion. He loved to play. He wanted to win. And when the turnover happened, he didn't give up.
Yet, off the field, Clarett's passion and intensity lacked wisdom. A star college career, possibly professional career was lost because he was full of misguided, uncontrolled passion.
He got in trouble. His ego caused him to listen to the wrong voices. And in the end, all is passion and talent was wasted.
Could a bit of Clarett passion made the difference in last night's game? Maybe.
The apostle Paul writes to us, "Run the race with endurance. Run to the end so as not to lose the prize."
Too often, we lose intensity and passion in life. We stop fighting the things that entangle us. We compromise, make excuses. Even at times, let misguided "wisdom" steer us wrong.
Jesus said in Matt 24, "due to lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold."
Don't know about you, but I don't want my love to grow cold. We have to be passionate, intense, and disciplined. It's a day-to-day commitment.
I grow weary as much as the next person. But I want to live with my eye on the prize. I don't want to get to the fourth quarter and ease up in the last 16 seconds only to find that I've lost.
I've had a few battles in my life. In the '80s, I got hit with out-of-the-blue fear and panic. I fought. I prayed. I used the Word of God to change my emotional chemistry.
It was scary at times. I remember once saying to God, "Look, if this is the life you have for me, go ahead and take me home now cause I can't live like this."
It wasn't an every day, all day battle, but enough to really annoy me. I chose to be passionate, intense and believe God more than fear. His perfect love cast out all fear, John wrote.
I'm happy to report. No fear. God's Word and prayer works. But it's intense and hard and I had to stay steady.
Stay steady. Seek wisdom and grace. Fight the good fight. Play all four quarters!