Beyond End Results   Leave a comment

Endzone 1

Endzone 1 (Photo credit: smcgee)

We live in a society that is driven by end results.  I would agree that the outcome of any work or any project is very important.  However, I think that when we focus solely on end results, we can easily overlook some very valuable aspects of the work or project.

This past weekend I began my fall practice of attending one of my favorite college team’s football game.  I have a season ticket to attend all the home games of the team.  This weekend’s game was the first game of the season and the team has a new sophomore quarterback.  Last season was not a good one for my team.  They ended the season with a losing record and a very disheartened set of fans.  So there was a lot riding on this opening game.  No one knew for sure what to expect, especially since we had not seen the quarterback perform in anything more than the spring game (or scrimmage).  So when kickoff occurred (on an extremely hot Saturday afternoon), there were a lot of nervous fans filling the stadium and watching on television.  At the end of the game, my team had lost by three points.  The end results were not what anyone wanted and looked a bit dismal as a way to begin the season.  However, there is much more to take away from the game.

Many of the fans around me and my friends who had seen the game had to admit that this year’s team looked much better than the teams have in the past few years during the opening game.  The team did a lot of things right.  The quarterback looked in control and calm even when the pressure of a blitzing defense was in his face.  The offense was much more consistent in its execution of the plays.  The defense had some very strong moments, especially holding the opponents to scoring a field goal instead of a touchdown while they were in the red zone.  There were even some new plays that caught the defense and the fans off guard.  Overall, there were many successes.  There still is a lot to work on and some changes need to be made but it was better than in the past.  All this was affirmed by the head coach in a recent interview.

The assessment of the game and my team is what I am referring to in this post.  If I were to just look at the end results, a loss, then I would miss out on the positives that were evident in the game.  Too many times we look at just the end results and consider the work or the project a failure.  However, there is always some learning that can take place even when the results are not positive.  There is always opportunity for us to point out where there was success in the whole.  As leaders and individuals, we need to take hold of the positives that are there.  We need to lift them up, acknowledge them, and use them as the launching pad for the next time around.

I liken this to how I believe the Lord views my life.  There are times that I know the end results of my activities are not what the Lord had desired at the beginning.  I know there are times that I fail and do not achieve the desired results.  However, the Lord does not just look at end results.  Instead, the Lord identifies the positives.  The Lord lifts up the areas in which I have learned and had success.  This helps me to gain confidence.  Then the Lord shows me how to improve in the areas that did not provide the desired end results.  Most of all, I am given another chance.

My team will be given another chance on this coming Saturday.  Hopefully they will be able to build upon the positives of last Saturday’s game.  Hopefully they will have worked on the troubled areas and growth will have occurred.  As a leader, I need to remember these lessons and most importantly, provide opportunity for another chance.  I also need to remember to do the same for myself.


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