The Fervor of the Game...

As I have shared before, I love the World Cup. There is something about playing a game to show your love of country that is fascinating. As in any sport, there are expected winners and expected losers. There is the "Group of Death" and the "Group of Champions." There are teams that somehow managed to qualify (by means that no one seems to know) and they are just happy to be there, wearing their colors, hearing their national anthem.

But a strange thing has happened this World Cup...the expected winners aren't winning. Everyone is guaranteed three games in Group Play, but then, if you make it, comes the knock out round where the winner moves forward and the loser is done. Some think that soccer is boring, twenty men running back and forth with the possibility of no goals being scored but I seem to look at it from another perspective. Soccer is a game of grit and persistence. It is where those who want it most, often succeed. It doesn't always happen, but, more often than not, it does. To me, it is a metaphor for life.

Think about it...we all have our team who help us navigate through life. There are opposing forces often trying to make us waver from our goal. Sometimes they knock us down, sometimes they push us out of the way, they try to hinder us from our task at hand.

Then there is the crowd...sometimes there are those on the outside with their cries so deafening that it is hard to think. We have to focus, gather those on our team, reevaluate our goal and the plan to achieve it. We have to work around those who are trying to stop us, sway us, pull us away from our plan. We must look out for one another...find the fervor of the game.

Soccer is much more like life that people want to acknowledge. Sure, it would be nice if life was like basketball with rewards that come regularly, feelings of success sprinkling over us, but it reality we often spend long lengths of time working hard, with no reward, hoping for the single breakthrough.

This breakthrough brings us back to task...gives us hope that more will come. With grit and determination, we continue...In life, as in all things, there is risk and reward. With reward sometimes far apart, we gather those around us...those on our team and continue the hard work to be done.

We are here because it is worth it...the fervor of the game.

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