Regardless of whether you are a Denver Broncos fan or even a Peyton Manning fan, if you’re a NFL fan you probably were tuned into the fact that the greatest quarterback in history just retired from the game he loved so much. If you’re like me, you watched his retirement speech in its entirety, impressed that the only thing that exceeds his talent is his humility. What a speech!!! There’s a lot to learn from Peyton Manning. Here are three things that I think every man can learn from him.
1. Embrace your calling
Without question, Peyton will be a first ballot entrant into the NFL Hall of Fame. Pittsburgh is a breeding ground for Hall of Fame quarterbacks, including Johnny Unitas, George Blanda, Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Jim Kelly, and Dan Marino, not to mention Terry Bradshaw, and Ben Roethlisberger, who undoubtedly will be in the Hall as well. Add to that list Johnny Lujack, Rich Gannon, Marc Bulger, and Bruce Gradkowski (had to mention Bruce because he went to my high school).
Let me ask you…when each of the above dropped back to pass, time and time again over their careers, do you think they anticipated throwing an interception or a completion, probably a touchdown? My sense is that each of these men, eight of them good enough to be in the elite NFL Hall of Fame, had the utmost confidence in their abilities.
They embraced their talents, each working hard to be their very best. I think that their play serves as an analogy as to what can be if we pursue life with passion and courage, absent fear and ambivalence. Remember, we are all 10s. God doesn’t make mistakes…He only deals in perfection. While these quarterback were playing, not caring what anyone on this earth was thinking of them, using their God given gifts, they were being all that God was calling them to be. For eight, probably nine including Ben, that resulted in Hall of Fame careers. God is calling all of us to Hall of Fame careers, Hall of Fame lives, albeit not in the NFL.
Do you know who God has created you to be?
Peyton executed on Sundays having his giftedness outdone only by his preparedness. He embraced his talents, working hard to be his very best.
God has a plan for each of us. It takes some much longer than others. All of our experiences go to what God is calling us to. So it doesn't matter if we're 19 or 90. It doesn't matter our experiences. Our all-loving God is more than ready for us when we are ready for Him. He will help us make a message out of our mess, a ministry, no matter what the shape or scope, out of our past misery. God loves us and anxiously awaits our "yes".
It’s time to recommit yourself to God. How do you show up on Sunday? How do you show each day? We need to recommit our lives daily to the Lord.
3. Today is a great day for a new beginning.
Peyton said during his speech that, “It’s not the end, but the beginning of something that I’ve not discovered yet. Life is not shrinking for me. It is morphing into a whole new world of opportunities.” He closed by quoting scripture, 2 Timothy 4:7, where it says, “I have fought the good fight. I have completed the course. I have preserved the faith”. 2 Timothy 4:8 is just as impactful for me, where it says, “As for the remainder, a crown of justice has been reserved for me, one which the Lord, the just judge, will render to me in that day, and not only to me, but also to those who look forward to his return. Hurry to return to me soon.”
It’s never too late to be the person we’re all called to be.
I know it may sound like a stretch to some, but to a big football fan like me, I think we can look to how these quarterbacks played the game as to how we should live our lives. And I think we can take a note from Peyton in understanding that no matter our past, good or bad, successes and failures, “It’s not the end, but the beginning of something that we’ve not discovered yet.”
Any other lessons you learned from Peyton? Share below.