“It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.” — Luke 12:38
Two of the 2022 New Year’s Day college football bowl games were a lesson in preparation. During the Rose Bowl, both Ohio State and Utah faced situations in which players who had seen little action on the field were called upon to step up. OSU had multiple starters unable to play in the game that day, necessitating that a few second-string players take more snaps and see more playing time than most ever had in their college careers. Then, Utah’s starting quarterback got injured in the third quarter, resulting in the backup coming in and playing the rest of the game.
In the Sugar Bowl later in the day, Ole Miss also had a similar situation when its star quarterback, Matt Corral, got seriously hurt toward the beginning of the game and their freshman second-string QB had to fill in for him the rest of the way. He had seen so little action that not even the commentators had any stats or information on him!
But in the case of all three teams, there were dedicated players who had been preparing, making themselves ready for their moment, even as unlikely as it seemed to come. They had showed up to practice, put in the work, suited up, and remained focused … just in case. And it showed. Ohio State and Utah ended up in a dog fight of a game that came down to the wire. The OSU players who were filling in for those who sat out gave viewers a performance to remember, even making some history along the way. Utah’s backup QB nearly led his team to victory, falling just short as OSU sneaked out a win. The Ole Miss backup played inspired football and nearly helped them win the game as well, earning the respect of both his teammates and spectators.
There’s much in life we can’t plan for. Even though we like to think we’re in control of things, we have very little say in how or when opportunity will come for us. But we do have control over how prepared we are when it does. Are we putting in the work to be spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically ready? Are we being faithful to show up and ensure we’re available for God to use us, even if it appears like we’re simply warming the bench?
Proverbs 20:4 says, “Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.” If you start preparing at the last minute, you aren’t truly ready for how God wants to use you and where He wants to send you. You have to be ready if you’re going to be effective — ready for Jesus’ return, ready to share the Gospel, ready to serve.
Don’t be caught unprepared when He presents you with an opportunity. Put in the work even when it seems like your chances of playing are slim. You never know when you’ll be called upon, and you want to make that chance count when it comes!
— Katherine Singer
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