Thursday Thoughts: There Is Something On The Other Side

Good Afternoon Team Chaplains,

Welcome to Thursday’s Thoughts from the ISSCD!  This campaign has been created to assist you, our chaplains, by providing you with different resources on a regular basis that are already out in the world and bringing them right to your computer screen/cellular device.  You are more than welcome to use these resources throughout your lay ministry.  If you have any resources that you think would be beneficial to our group of team chaplains, please don’t hesitate to send them to me to share.  Please enjoy this edition of THURSDAY’S THOUGHTS, I wanted to focus on the offseason and our mentality for beginning anew.

 Yes, classes are back in session but, a new season is also upon us!  Most of you probably thought I was implying about the NFL season but, I was referring to our new season as Team Chaplains!  Both Team Chaplains and our beloved reigning Super Bowl 52 Champion Philadelphia Eagles had an offseason to relax, enjoy time with family, go on vacation, take time out of their day for themselves, and prepare for the upcoming season.  Tonight the Philadelphia Eagles take the field to open the season and defend their title.  As excited as I am, along with the rest of Philadelphia, to welcome back Eagles football, I want to take the time to reflect on an event that may have been overlooked during the offseason with all of the hype surrounding the Eagles coming off their first Super Bowl victory.

 On August 4th, 2018 the Pro Football Hall of Fame held its annual enshrinement ceremony where Eagles legend Brian Dawkins, a.k.a. Weapon X, accepted his induction to be acknowledged as one of the best to ever play professional football.  B-Dawk gave one of the most emotional and inspiring speeches at the Hall of Fame ceremony speaking about his gratitude, being blessed, those who helped him along the way, his struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts, and his faith.  Dawkins stated that, “Football was what I did, but it’s not who I am”.  The people that surrounded Dawkins guided him throughout his life and football career (just like Team Chaplains do).  Brian spoke about being “Blessed by the best” and working so hard out of fear of letting others down.  He used his pain to push himself through the tough times to reach the next point in his life to see his better times.  His message about persevering and always looking forward to improve relates not only to the current Philadelphia Eagles but to us as well. 

So for those who are going through it right now, there’s hope. You do have hope. There is something on the other side of this. Don’t get caught up where you are. Don’t stay where you are. Keep moving. Keep pushing…Don’t settle in this life. Don’t settle. Don’t allow yourself to settle. Push through the pain. On the other side of that pain is something special for you to go in the next level of what God has for you.”

This has meaning to Team Chaplains, as we can share this important message of not settling to our student-athletes in regards to life, school work, and their sport.  Not only can we use Brian Dawkins as an example to give to our athletes but, we can also use the Philadelphia Eagles as an example as they begin their new season and cannot dwell and settle on being the reigning champions but to improve, compete and work towards becoming champions again!  Let’s start off the season right by not settling and be prepared to defend what you have worked so hard for!

Lastly, I want to leave you with another quote from Brian Dawkins’ speech as I believe he unintentionally said a prayer at the very end of his speech which we, as Chaplains, can use in our lay ministry:

Finally, what I want to say is, thank you, Heavenly Father, for blessing me with the sense to understand that I did not do everything by myself, that You have guided me the whole way, that I’ve had wonderful people around me that You placed in perfect positions to reach me. That You orchestrated my life, even though my plans want to do the opposite. You’ve stayed faithful to me and You continue to push me and You continue to pull me towards a purpose. So I thank you Heavenly Father, and I can’t wait – I can’t wait – to see what You’re going to do with me next. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Check out the full Brian Dawkins’ Hall of Fame speech