Strive To Be A Winner

7 Feb

“Winning isn’t everything.  It’s the only thing.”  ~ Vince Lombardi

My family members and friends — and many of you in the parish — know that I am not a sports fan.  I don’t know the names of the teams or for what cities/states the team names are associated.  I don’t even know for sure what team name goes with what sport.  Yes, I’m pretty pathetic in that regard.

But, even I know the name Vince Lombardi.  I know his reputation and what he brought to the game.  I know the zeal with which he coached his teams and directed the NFL.  Today’s quote is quintessential Lombardi.

If one is to be a winner, one has to practice over and over again until all “the moves” are so well-rehearsed as to be ingrained into muscle memory.  Once different moves and patterns are rehearsed and the players are comfortable with them, they feel much more confident for the game.

That is good.  It can also be bad.  Sometimes, players are overconfident. They may be on a winning streak. The moves that they make might have garnered them a great reputation. So, instead of going out onto a court or a field with practice and determination, they go to play in a more arrogant fashion.

They forget that each day, each play, has to come from hard work and determination.  They forget that their  reputation is not going to assure them points in the game.  Because of this, they may end up falling on their face.

I believe that today’s quote is also a hallmark of our faith.  “Winning isn’t everything.  It’s the only thing.”  We are in a fight against evil.  In order to win, we have to be able to defeat our enemy’s wiles. That takes determination and hard work.  We have to make sure that our prayer life is strong. We have to make sure that we lovingly serve others. We have to make sure that we live as the Lord’s people and not for ourselves.

Sometimes, people grow slack in the faith.  They can become arrogant because they have a wonderful reputation as servant or as generous provider.  Reputation is not going to get us anywhere in the long run.  God is not going to ask us what people said about us.  He is going to ask us what we did for others.  Daily living of the faith gets us where we want to go.

We come to the close of Catholic Schools Week.  We hope and pray that all those involved in Catholic education come to the realization that constant practice of the faith is vital to the life of a Christian.

FAITH ACTION:  Practice your faith daily in order to give God the praise that is His due.