Way to go Aaron Donald!

Good morning! That’s what time it is for me as I write and feel the cool air and the birds singing. I have been wanting to write this post since Super Bowl Sunday. My husband and I typically do something else on this day. We will go to a museum, out to eat, or watch movies. We ended up going to an arcade for families in Richmond. We played Pac-Man, air hockey, and pool. Apparently I’m a pool expert; because, I not only won, but I also showed Parish how to finish the game with his remaining balls. It was snowing a little so I went outside in the courtyard. We played hide and seek–me hiding and sending him pictures, and he had to ask the wait staff to help him. Laughing and living in the moment.

When we got home, I asked my Alexa device “Who is winning the Super Bowl?”. She answered in such a way that I decided to turn the last 3 minutes of the game on. WOW! So much emotion. The Bengals could have won. They had the ball (my daughter reminded me that the guy throwing the ball was the quarterback, LOL!). I did not have a team that I wanted to win so I began to cheer for him. It would take a miracle, but we have all witnessed that last minute touch down. Daniel Pink in his book When even talks about the science behind the last few minutes of a game and it not being so magical after all. It happens with all the science around the locker room talks and last plays. Out of nowhere (well at least for me) here comes the opposing team with Aaron Donald making his way to the quarterback for the big game-winning sack. Bengals had one yard to go to get to first down in order to continue their drive in hopes of winning the game.

Aaron Donald shared with a reporter that you “strain, strain” and “one last play”. “We found a way to get to them, and you give it all you got. We made a play and won and that’s all that matters.” He goes on to break down emotionally with great joy, to hug his team mates, to talk about his dreams, and that God is great. He told his daughter he would win one day and he couldn’t wait to bring her on the field. Great joy in that moment. This video clip is less than two minutes long; yet, we gain so much from the words spoken. Regardless of your stance on football and the game, one can apply the content to our lives.

Speak your dreams.

Work hard and set goals.

Look for opportunities to strain towards a play that changes everything for you.

Remember those who are on your team and helped you with the play.

Give it all you’ve got. “strain…strain”

Cry, rejoice, worship, and celebrate.

Lastly, live in the moment. When the reporter asked Aaron “if he planned to retire” it was an immediate killjoy and skunk at the picnic. I yelled from my sitting place, “Oh my gosh! Shut up!” In less than a second of her saying it, my visceral response, and waiting to see what he would say, I cheered! He told her “I’m living in this moment”. “Yes! You go Aaron!”

Moments are rarely big wins like a super bowl win. They are better than that. Look around you. Really look around you. Past the mess, the chaos, the irritants, and the crazy. If we are spending too much time lamenting the past and wishing for a different future, we can’t see this moment and the potential joy and beauty. It is there in the chaos.

Aaron was interviewed in that moment because of all the focused moments that led him up to his dream realized. Moments are the fertile ground of our hard work and connection. We can devalue a moment focusing on “what’s next”. Goal setting and preparation in a moment is the moment. We are not to live haphazardly without planning our future. Aaron didn’t wake up each day laying in the bed dreaming. He took action and lived each moment to fulfill his dream. He kept it moving one moment at a time which is an expression my daughters have grown to love and laugh about when I’m quoted.

I don’t know Aaron, and I don’t follow his life story and stats. I’m making grand assumptions about a man through a single interview. I get it. Yet, even if I’m only partially accurate about his life story, you’d miss the point focusing on the debate. That’s a moment robber. I rejoice that God has given me expressions of His way for us in all things. He speaks to us when we are willing to open a moment up to listen, feel, see, and experience wholeheartedly.

The video (click on the word video) of the interview is on NFL lockdown, so I can’t embed. You will have to go to YouTube link that is hyperlinked above.

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