Summer here in New England is coming to a close even though it doesn’t officially end until mid-September. People’s minds are shifting to the Autumn as families prepare to gear up for the approaching school season. I prefer to squeeze out every day of summer I can until it is officially over.
We are currently on family vacation in Lake Placid, New York in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. This is the home of the 1980 Olympics - right here in Lake Placid. As I step out onto the balcony from our bedroom, which is on 10 acres with a magnificent mountain view, I have the perfect view of the ski lift used in the Olympics which always reminds me of my favorite movie - Miracle.
“Miracle “is the story of the 1980 US Olympics hockey team and their coach, Herb Brooks, who had an uncommon dream which was to beat the Soviets at their own game. He handpicked a group of 26 undisciplined hockey college kids, from all over the country, and turned 20 of them into a team that beat the unachievable. Every time I watch this movie, I scream and holler like it’s the first time I’m watching it! In fact, as soon as I finish this blog, I’m going to go watch it again!
The Soviets had won 21 games straight and had not lost an Olympic game since 1968 - they were the best team in the world. Coach Herb Brooks’ strategy in training his team was definitely controversial but his focus was undaunted. He had an uncommon dream in mind and he was going after it.
You’ll have to watch the movie to get all the missing pieces in this blog, but after what Coach Brooks thought was a sloppy game with Norway, he lets them have it. He saw that familiarity, sloppiness, pride, strife and a casual attitude was setting in, so after the game to Norway, he had the team stay after the arena emptied out and all night he made them skate the length of the hockey arena without stopping. So much so, that even the team Doctor asked the Coach to stop, but not Coach Brooks. He had that group of 20 college kids skate until they vomited, and fell from exhaustion. They stayed there until they realized they were not 20 individuals from all over the country, but they were one team representing the USA.
Now, let me say that I am not suggesting you do that to your teams! But the words that Coach Brooks bellowed out after this scene ring in my heart almost daily. With a look of pure intensity, he looked into the faces of these 20 kids and he said: “You can’t be a team of common men because common men go nowhere! You have to be uncommon!”
I like to say it this way, “Common people cannot do uncommon things.”
To be common means to be ordinary, familiar, mediocre, inferior, or usual. God has not called any of us to be ordinary or to live a mediocre life. To be uncommon means rare, unusual, exceptional, or remarkable. This is the life God has called us to…uncommon, unusual, exceptional and remarkable!
What is it going to take for us to walk fully in what God has prepared for us? My answer to that questions is Uncommon Faith. We must develop an uncommon faith to believe and receive all God has prepared for us.
To develop an uncommon faith, we must do some uncommon things.
1. Give God’s Word First Place in Your Life.
- Build your schedule around God’s Word. If you build God’s Word around your schedule, you will never have time for Him.
2. Continually Feed on God’s Word.
- It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth. Matthew 4:4 (MSG)
- Strengthening our faith is the most important thing we do in this life. Our very lives, families, ministries depend upon this.
- Take God’s Word personally - it belongs to you!
3. Meditate on God’s Word.
I love to read, I always have but I have come to realize that what is more important than seeing how many books I can read is to see how much of what I read I actually retain, apply to my life and live out. Meditating on one Scripture for days or even weeks can literally strengthen your faith and change the course of your life.
Study this book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in everything that you do. Joshua 1:8 (NLT)
4. Act on God’s Word.
Simply do what He says! The blessing is in the doing. Hearing is just the first step but to complete the process, act on what He said to do.
Don’t just listen to God’s Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22 (NLT)
5. Pray in the Spirit.
Oh, how wonderful it is to pray in our special heavenly language. What a beautiful gift He has given us to communicate directly to Him without limits. Our understanding is so limited, but our heavenly language is unlimited. I Corinthians 14:4 in the Amplified Bible actually says that when we pray in the Spirit, we improve ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I need a lot of improvement!
6. Give God Praise - Continually
I Chronicles 16:25 says, Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. He is always great - therefore He should always be praised. My husband has always said that the magnitude of our praise determines the duration of our trial. We are strengthened in our praise to our Great God!
Uncommon faith says, “I see it in God’s Word…..I take it as mine….I have it now.”
Some call it bulldog faith - lock your teeth into God’s Word and don’t let go until you see what He has promised come to pass in your life.
What is it that you need to lock your teeth in to? What is it that you are believing God for that you see in His Word belongs to you? Lock your faith teeth into His promises and don’t let go. Live the extraordinary, uncommon life God wants you to live!
(Don’t forget! Watch the movie “Miracle” - The Disney version starring Kurt Russell. Let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you!)