“The decision to write this book was with one thing in mind; to bring about change in the heart and mind of people, regardless of their past. Every day, people deal with emotional baggage that ends up causing them to make bad choices, as a result we are all in need of guidance to learn how to make the right calls in the game of life. I wanted to give a clear view of how life itself is no different than the game I used to play as a professional athlete.”
About Training For the Tough Game of Life
Guidance and Help From God's Playbook
These people use the pain they have battled through in the game of life as fuel to get them from one quarter to the next, never stopping for a moment to consider the rules they are breaking, the penalties they are causing, and the fouls that are hurting others along the way. They never stop for a moment to consider that there is a greater playbook in God’s words that can give them better options for how to have great success. We have to ask ourselves the real question: Which playbook are we using? Are we still running plays based on our will or His? Are we playing this game called life based on the pain of our past, a bad life decision we made that still has us dejected, that still allows our hurts to hinder us from moving forward to the life in God’s promise? For the intent of this book is to help you understand that everyone has a playbook and we all have to make calls, but the outcome in the game of life will be based on our ability to make the right calls God’s way.
So just like my dad, who was obviously full of anger, resentment, and unforgiveness, I, too, started to live my life with the only attitude I knew. The voices of ridicule and turmoil that I had hoped would disappear magically and never come back only got worse. So I made a decision to start playing the plays in the game of life with the pain, medicating them with emotions of suppression and seclusion from the pain of my past.
Spiritual Truth: Comforted His people with these words, ‘But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.’ (Isaiah 43:1–2 ESV).
My life had begun to heal, but as soon as we parked, I realized this life of peace would soon turn right back to one of pain. I ran into the house, not really knowing what to expect, but knowing that whatever was happening was not going to be good. Although it could have easily been something positive, my short game-time experience in life had been so negative that I did not know how to expect anything else than the worst. That is exactly what happened, as my mom revealed to me that my older brother had died in a tragic car accident.
I did not understand. I could not wrap my head around him being gone. He was my best friend, the one person beyond my grandpa I looked up too. So many questions ran through my head. What did that look like, did that mean he was never coming back...what? So many questions, but the pain within my heart made me so angry. I questioned all the good God was doing and decided to trade it in for the pain of my past. I was emotionally done and had hit my bottom. I was empty and there was no one in that house in the midst of the tears who could help me. I kneeled down at my bed and cried until my eyes were swollen almost shut. My mom would come in and try to console me. She said, "Eddie, what can I do son?" I said, "Nothing!" In reality there is nothing anyone could do. The layers of pain I felt was almost unbearable and heavy! The weight of pain I was carrying had disabled and incapacitated my spirit. I put the game of life on pause and all the emotions that came along with what had happened. I was numb to my present, absent from the pain of past, and had no interest in the hope of my future. I wanted to die. I did not want life anymore, because it seemed like every time I started to attempt to get the confidence to go back into the game of life, something else would come to knock me back down on the sidelines of life.
My wife then shared her pain and expectations and what she needed to move forward: counseling, setting up boundaries, and meeting with Pastor on a regular basis to establish a greater since of accountability. She said, “I will not even consider this journey if these things are not put into place."
So Pastor asked, “Eddie, do you hear what she needs?"
I said, “Yes sir."
"No, do you really hear what she needs? She needs a sound commitment and real accountability that says you are not living a life apart from your family, but are a man who is engaged in the process of ensuring success spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.”
At the end of the day, regardless of what how well we do in the game of life, God still expects us to continue to grow and raise the standard. Much of the standard is about our own personal, mental, emotional, and spiritual development, but the greater purpose is in being an example for others. It is about taking our lives, learning from many of the bad calls we have made, and seeking out game plans to show us how to play it better.
Spiritual Truth: And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)