On Saturday, I attended a college football game with my 12-year-old son, my dad, and my brother while my husband watched from the press box. The Colorado State University Rams faced off against the Idaho Vandals in a stadium filled with retro-uniform orange. Beautiful weather. A spirited band with a chorus line of suicide trombones. Cannon fire after each home team score along with “Cam the ram” being trotted across the end zone. And hopes were high since CSU had a 12-game losing streak going in.
The game was intense as each team exchanged points, the lead, and the momentum. And then in the 4th quarter, CSU scored yet another touchdown. The extra point to tie the game? Missed. Trailing into the final minutes, the crowd helped the defense with a critical stop and the offense took the field for the two-minute drill. Leading to a field goal attempt with 3 seconds left on the clock.
A field goal that split the uprights, securing the victory and snapping the streak. The first win of the year and the first win in over a year.
Watching the team celebrate on the field, I was reminded that the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory. And the longer the journey, the more satisfying the destination.
Working extra hours for three years to pay off a debt? Skipping favorite television shows and writing into the night to finish the rough draft of a novel? Spending hours with physical and speech therapists to help your child walk, run, and talk?
Changing your lifestyle and habits to recover from a chronic illness? Sticking with my husband through the better and worse to build a strong marriage? Making the daily choices to live out my faith in a culture that denies God’s existence or relevance?
Easy? Never. But the victory is sweeter for the struggle.
What about you? What motivates you during the long struggles of life? Do you have any recent victories to share?