The movie, Moneyball, is a true story of how the Oakland Athletics used mathematics and statistics to identify talent in players that would be a good fit for their team, given their budget. One scene in the movie shows Jeremy Brown, a portly 240 pound minor league catcher that needs a boost of confidence. Brown hits a long fly ball to the outfield. He almost never goes to second because he is afraid of getting thrown out. This time, however, he gets up speed to go for it, but is so nervous that he falls over rounding first base. He crawls back to first base while everyone is laughing. However, they are not laughing because he did not make it to second, but because the ball went about 60 feet over the fence for a homerun.
It is a fitting illustration that fear can cause us to stumble and not notice our powerful talents and capabilities that God has given us. Brown proceeds to get up and round the bases getting high fives from the players on the other team. God has given us all capable bodies and minds that can learn new things and grow. God sees each one of us as special and knows that we are His beloved.
Author and Pastor, Jack Hayford, noted in the book, On this Holy Night: The Heart of Christmas, that the Greek words, “highly favored,” are used only two times in the New Testament. The first time is in Luke 1:28 when the angel is telling Mary that she is highly favored. This makes a lot of sense giving that she will carry Jesus for 9 months and be the mother of the Savior of the world. The second time is in Ephesians 1:6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. It is amazing to note that we are highly favored as well! That is how much God cares about each one of us. Because of this we can be bold and have confidence in who we are as children of God. We are made special by God for a purpose and we should do our best to live this out.
Pastor, author, and motivational speaker, Robert Schuller, has asked, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?” It is a motivating question to get moving on what we would like to do in our lives. God has made each one of us with the ability to work hard and to learn so we are able to try new things and, even through our failures, learn and improve.
We are more likely to act ourselves into feeling rather than feel ourselves into action so it is important to be willing to take action. Leadership expert, John Maxwell, suggests saying, “Do it now,” 50 times in the morning and before going to bed. The following poem can also be used as motivation, keeping in mind that God loves us and wants us to use our gifts and time wisely to glorify him.
If there were ever a time to dare,
To make a difference,
To embark on something worth doing,
It is now.
Not for any grand cause, necessarily--
But for something that tugs at your heart,
Something that’s your aspiration,
Something that’s your dream.
You owe it to yourself to make your days here count.
Know, though, that things worth doing seldom come easy.
There will be good days.
And there will be bad days.
There will be times when you want to turn around,
Pack it up, and call it quits.
Those times tell you that you are pushing yourself,
That you are not afraid to learn by trying.
Zaillian, S. & Sorkin, A. (2011). Moneyball. Culver City, CA: Sony Pictures.
Lucado, M., Warren, R., Jeremiah, D., Maxwell, J., Hayford, J., & Hybels, B. (2013). On this holy night: The heart of Christmas. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
Maxwell, J. (2012). The 15 invaluable laws of growth. Live them and reach your potential. New York: Center Street.
Stohlmann, M. (2016). The world's greatest coach. Seattle, WA: CreateSpace.
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Christian, author, and professor of mathematics education.