“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” — Romans 8:37
Back in 2001, a senior quarterback out of Purdue University was told he wasn’t good enough. He was told he didn’t have the arm, accuracy, or the style of game. But, most importantly, he was told he wasn’t tall enough. At exactly 6 feet, he was seen as “short” for the position when it came to making it in the NFL. This wasn’t the first time he’d heard such an opinion — four years earlier, he’d been told he was too short to play college ball!
His name? Drew Brees. Anybody who follows football has witnessed how that story turned out. He went on to etch his name in the history books and bring a Super Bowl to Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, and he’ll likely end up in the Hall of Fame.
In 2012, another young man heard the same things as Brees once had. At 5-foot-10, Russell Wilson had many doubting whether he was tall enough to play quarterback in the NFL. Again, Wilson has proven otherwise.
Former figure skater Scott Hamilton knows the feeling, too. Back in the late 1970s and early 80s, many judges and experts in the sport felt Hamilton lacked the height necessary to be great. Hamilton has talked openly about how many times people said, as a 5-foot-4 aspiring pro, he’d never make it because he was too short. Hamilton only went on to win four consecutive U.S. national championships (1981-84) and the Olympic gold medal in 1984. He’s also become a beloved voice within the world of skating in the decades since.
Brees, Wilson and Hamilton have something valuable in common. While each one was told again and again that they wouldn’t make it, didn’t have what it took, and were too short to perform at the highest level of their sport, none of them accepted that narrative. They had heart greater than their height.
All of us have our fair share of voices that have told us we’re not good enough — that we don’t have what it takes to achieve our aspirations in life. We can’t control when or how these voices will arise, but we can surprise them with our attitude. We can stun them with our positivity and silence them with our effort and work ethic. We can edit their criticisms and choose what we’re going to believe.
Sometimes, the odds don’t seem in our favor, but the experts never have the final say. God does. He’s said in His Word exactly who you are in His sight. You get to choose to make up in heart what you’re told you lack elsewhere. Whether on the sports field or the workplace or running errands, you get to decide if those voices will hold you back and have power over your life.
As Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and Scott Hamilton have shown, there’s no limit on desire. Nor is there a limit to the places God can take you if you’re willing to submit to Him and keep believing when nobody else around you will.
— Katherine Singer
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