I’m a sports movie junkie. What can I say? I’m just a sucker for the kind of drama most sports movies bring -- you know, the “no one thought they could do this” kind of stuff? Think about it, all the great sports movies involve underdogs overcoming great adversity to win: Hoosiers, Remember the Titans, Miracle, Secretariat, Invincible, Rocky and The Mighty Ducks (ok…that last one is a stretch). This week, I want to feature three of my favorite speeches from three of my favorite movies. If you haven’t seen them -- watch them. You don’t have to love sports to love these movies, you just have to love the true grit that inspires people to achieve greatness when the odds are against them, and supporters and believers are few.
My all-time favorite movie is Miracle, the story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey team. Their feat became known as the Miracle on Ice. Coach Herb Brooks put together a team of amateurs to play against the world’s elite hockey players, and their rise in the 1980 Winter Olympics is heart warming, powerful and even a smudge patriotic (for my American readers).
In this clip, Coach Brooks speaks to the boys as they sit in the locker room, waiting their semi-final game against the Russians. The Soviets had won the Hockey gold in five of the previous six Winter Olympics and they’re early tests showed them ready for another gold medal celebration. In fact, earlier in the year, the Soviets pounded the American team in an exhibition game in the U.S. -- and most people thought a repeat would happen in this game, too.
Listen as Coach Brooks inspires his team before they take the ice:
I love the line he uses: “Everyone of you was born to be a hockey player.” These men weren’t playing hockey because they were good at it. Coach Brooks didn’t select his team based on skill alone (watch the movie…it’s really good), but based on some intangibles -- the “it” factor. These men were supposed to play hockey, it’s who they were.
Great moments in life come to us when we are in the sweet spot, doing what we were made to do. God was intimately involved in your creation, inside and out, knitting each aspect of your life together. Your likes and dislikes, your passions and your skills. Look at how David describes it in Psalm 139:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
You were created by God, intimately and personally, created to be His child. He longs to have a personal relationship with you and for you to live by Him, for Him and ultimately with Him. You will find your sweet spot when you embrace your God-given design , being who God designed you to be so that you can do what God made you to do.
A great life isn’t about the number of dollars you make, the number of people you touch or the number of countries you visit. Greatness is about being satisfied in God’s presence, fulfilling your design in the every day opportunities that surround you. In those moments, God gives us all different platforms from which to speak, different audiences to influence and particular lives to invest in. But it’s in the “being” that happiness and greatness are found.
If you want to live the Overboard Life, you must embrace your Creator and His specific creation. Stop trying to be someone else, stop trying to do more to please Him -- be who He made you to be, and the doing will take care of itself.
The 1980 U.S. Hockey team found greatness. Yes, the did something amazing, but that doing came out of each one of those men being who they were made to be -- hockey players. Have you found your greatness? You will, when you stop doing and start being who God designed you to be.
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is better on the water!