Psyched Up or Psyched Out?
by Richard Rocco ◊ Feb 03, 2012
Here we go again! As mentioned in other writings, I am an avid football watcher and fan. I just went to the NFC post-season game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos. The Patriots really beat them bad with a 45 to 10 victory. It seemed that the quarterback, Tim Tebow, was rattled badly and started making mistakes.
Then last week, the Pats played a much harder, more seasoned team, the Baltimore Ravens. That was a tough game with the Pats only to squeeze by with a 23 to 20 win. Again, the game came down to a 25-yard field goal attempt, one that the kicker has made a thousand times, but with the pressure to advance to the Super bowl on his shoulders, he pulled it just left of the goalpost.
On the other side of the league is this team that started the post-season as a wildcard…that’s when a team squeaks by with just enough wins to get in. The New York Giants, with one win after another, beat every opponent they came against. Every game was a tough, knock down, drag-out fight, but it seems that the Giants always came out on top.
Now with the Super Bowl just a couple of days away, I wonder what the players of these two powerhouse teams are really thinking. The last time these two were in the Big Game was when they actually played each other in 2007. The Pats were the dynasty, 18 wins and zero losses! So many records were broken. They were a clear favorite going into that game, but the Giants had other plans. They came in, as they are now, a wildcard team. They won one game after another until they faced the biggest challenge of their career, to dethrone the powerhouse Patriots. This was a real David and Goliath story with David winning. It was a real letdown for the undefeated New England team.
Well, here we go again! The 13-3 AFC Champs, New England Patriots, versus the 9-7 NFC Champs, New York Giants. And, again, the Giants are a three-point underdog. But, who really is under pressure here? The Giants beat the Pats in the pre-season and in the regular season. They beat them in the 2007 Super Bowl. What does one think when one is in that position? And, the Patriots, what is going on in their heads? This is when you could get psyched up or psyched out – nervous and afraid or courageous and focused.
We face challenges every day to live for Christ. The biggest lie in Christianity is that when you choose to follow Christ, everything is perfect and you will never experience loss, pain, or betrayal. That’s not true at all. God tells us that, “When we walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” not “if” we walk… That’s the difference, not “if” but “when!” We will walk through, but the big thing is that He will never leave or forsake us.
So often we get psyched out when things don’t go our way. We start to walk in fear, anxiety, and doubt. We start to believe in the lie that we can’t overcome adversity. We start to make mistakes and lose it. I believe that God wants us to remember, this year, that He is in charge and He is with you! No matter what the odds are, He is for you. “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” “No weapon formed against you will succeed.” “You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.” “You are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.” This should get you psyched up! YOU WIN! God didn’t give you a spirit of fear, but a spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. Walk in that and no matter what happens, know this, “If God is for you, who can be against you?” Don’t get psyched out when things don’t go your way, get psyched up that you have a power residing in you that is greater than any circumstance you will ever face.
I have no predictions for the Big Game, so whether you are a Giants fan or a Patriots fan, have fun and keep safe. Until next time, Faith Matters.
Richard Rocco is the Pastor of Frontline Christian Church, 2340 State Street, Hamden. For more information, please visit www.frontlinecc.com or call 203.287.9417.