All over Texas, high school football is in full swing.  It seems to be the sport of choice in our state. High school students everywhere have been working for weeks now, sweating hot, humid days and hours upon hours conditioning and making two-a-day practices to make the team of any chosen high school. It takes time, discipline, focus and hard work.

Every Friday night when the lights dim there will be winners and losers. There will be elation and joy, frustration and disappointment and the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Scripture teaches us to fight the good fight, run the course and finish the race. None of it is easy. The struggle is sometimes beyond understanding.

I learned from a football coach many years ago that football isn’t about the game. At the time, I couldn’t quite figure it out.  I’ve since learned that football is about our lives and what we choose to do with it.

Football is about the struggle, pain, commitment, discipline, attitude and focus of the heart.  Some kids never ever pick up a football again in their lives once their high school career is over.  Yet, the greatest foundation for the strength and perseverance of their lives are set in place on those football fields across Texas.

Anything worthwhile is worth working for.  With joy in our hearts we must be willing to put all we are into God’s plan and committing 110%.  Life isn’t easy on it’s best day but God promises we won’t walk it alone.  He’s there for the ride and he isn’t backing up. Commitment to the group whether it is a team, a family, a company, a community or a society makes things work.  Learning to get up and take the next step is half the battle. It is those steps taken and the work involved that moves us towards making our dreams come true.

As this football season unfolds lift up in prayer all those committed to making things happen. Pray that someday they will know and understand football isn’t about football but setting a foundation of hard work, attitude and discipline.  It takes a champion, be it loser or winner, to develop strength, honor, integrity and commitment to greater things. Pray each of those kids will find the tenacity and strength to move mountains despite the numbers on the scoreboard and the ache in their hearts.

Melinda Clements is an E-T community columnist. She can be reached at