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Devotional - Stiff Arm Worry

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Devotional - Stiff Arm Worry


“Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, 

but it doesn't get you anywhere.” - Anonymous

When Emmitt Smith, former Dallas Cowboy Hall of Fame running back, was informed by his agents that he was going to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated the week of Super Bowl XXVIII, he wanted no part of it. What they thought was an honor, Smith saw as a curse. He told them to tell SI, “no way!” He didn’t want to be a casualty of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. The SI cover curse is a superstition that claims individuals or teams who appear on the cover will subsequently perform poorly.

While the SI curse proponents continue to spout their beliefs, on this occasion all the worry and anxiety amounted to nothing. Emmitt Smith performed that night at the top of his game. He ran for 132 yards and was named the Super Bowl MVP.

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” - Mark Twain

Don Joseph Goewey, author of The End of Stress: 4 Steps to Rewire Your Brain and the Managing Partner of ProAttitude, found through his research that,

“85% of what subjects worried about never happened, and with the 15 percent that did happen, 79 percent of subjects discovered either they could handle the difficulty better than expected, or the difficulty taught them a lesson worth learning. This means that 97 percent of what you worry over is not much more than a fearful mind punishing you with exaggerations and misperceptions.”

While this information is insightful and helpful, the temptation to worry won’t be sidelined. It will continue to come after us. The Playbook encourages us to stiff arm worry.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

Anxiety is a powerful form of worry and when it’s breathing down your neck there are three things the Playbook tells us to do:

1. Pray. Call a time out and engage the Coach one-on-one, confident in your relationship.

2. Petition. Tell the Coach what’s going on with you. Give Him the brutal details and ask Him for help.

3. Thanksgiving. Express your thanks before you head back out on the field, confident of His help.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 (NIV)

Worry can tackle you from the inside. You can stiff arm it with a confident heart and a secure mind. And when you turn to the Coach and decide to trust him, his peace, like a group of experienced offensive linemen, will protect you.

Don’t forget to use your time-outs.

Coach Strap