Posted by: Don Linnen | 20 January 2010

When Things Really Suck

Bad things happen. Not all the time, but inevitably, sometime in your life or the life of your organization, you’ll face one or more of the six D’s:  disaster, disease, divorce, drugs (or other addictions), death, or disappointment.

Last Thursday, the Texas Longhorns had me yelling loudly for them in the second half of their BCS national championship game with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama won 37 – 21. The game was much better than the final score indicated. I was impressed with the character of the Longhorn team to fight back in the second half. I was even more impressed with the Longhorn quarterback, Colt McCoy, during his post-game interview.

McCoy had a terrific season in 2009. He was a contender for the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the nation’s best football player. He led his team to an undefeated season that earned it the opportunity to play for a national championship. After four years of preparation including 12 games this season qualifying to play for a national title, McCoy got hurt on the fifth play of the championship game.  He never returned to the  game.

I cannot imagine the disappointment McCoy must have felt over his early, game-ending injury last night. It clearly showed as he struggled to talk with the interviewer.

Many people (especially Texas fans) may not like it, but if we truly believe God is in control, that injury and loss may have been a part of a bigger plan for McCoy to witness to hundreds of thousands of young athletes and fans across the nation last night – many of whom will grow up to be leaders. With four sentences in ten seconds, he very likely had far more influence on far more people than had he led his team to victory. It was a powerful testimony.

That loss was a bitter pill for Longhorns to swallow. But most of us face adversity far more than we ever get to play for championships. McCoy is a class act. His words are terrific reminders for any of us facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles and disappointment.

“I always give God the glory. I never question why things happen the way they do. God is in control of my life. And I know that if nothing else, I’m standing on the rock.”  – Colt McCoy, January 7, 2010

No matter what your belief system, it is important to build your home on a rock. How you respond during times of disappointment, disaster, or chaos will have a huge influence on everyone around you.

Control everything you can, but when things spin out of control, that rock will be your refuge until you can move forward again. Your response is critical.


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