2nd down on the one-yard-line and you’re down four points. You have a stud running back and a mobile quarterback and momentum on your side. Oh, by the way, did I mention that this is the biggest game of any sporting event of the year. What do you do?
This is the question everybody was asking after the last play of the Super Bowl. In an interview after the game Pete Carroll, coach the Seahawks, answered for his calling a pass play that resulted in an interception instead of simply running the ball. He reasoned that the play was called with 3rd and 4th down in mind.
Now I am one for keeping the big end in sight when making a decision. I can understand wanting to run out the clock so that you don’t give the ball to the other team with enough time to score. But I also think that in this game as well as in life it’s possible to think too far ahead.
Jesus actually has something to say about this in a parable that he shares. He tells a story of a man who acquires some wealth and he decides to build bigger barns to store up additional wealth. He doesn’t realize that he’s very life is going to be forfeit that night. The moral of the story is, what does it benefit him to store all these things thinking of the future when he doesn’t have much time left on this earth? (See Luke 12)
So, let’s take a look at some lessons and we can learn from the Super Bowl mishap in regards to thinking too far ahead:
- Play to your strengths. If you have the weapons then don’t let them go to waste. Use them.
- Don’t let the opposition deter you from doing what you know is right. One of the reasons given for not running the ball was because the defense that was brought in by the opposing team. If you know the play to run, don’t let what is on the other side keep you from making the right call.
- Seek wisdom. I read a Proverb this week that said, “for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.” (24:6). This was a good time to make sure everybody was on the same page.
- Call a flippin’ timeout. Sometimes we don’t have enough time to assess a situation correctly and we need a little time to make the best decision. Time is the greatest asset to a leader when it comes to decision-making. If you don’t know if you got the right place, the best thing to do is take a time out. It’s better to run one play that is well thought out than to have two plays stored up without diligent thought process.
- When you make a bad call don’t lose your composure. The fact is, in life we will rush decisions and make calls that result in disaster. However, in that devastation we need to do our best to try to keep our composure because there will be other decisions we will have to make later down the line.
- Don’t be afraid to think ahead, but in doing so don’t forget to make the best decision for now.
So what are the decisions on your radar right now? What big calls do you have to make in the next few weeks? Is there anything that you think you’re looking too far ahead on? Is there any trigger you just need to pull right now because you know it’s the best decision? Are there any issues in your life you need to call a timeout on and bring some wise counsel in?
Side note – Tom Brady should never have received the MVP for that game. If you’re going to give it to anybody except for the offensive play caller on the Seahawks, I think you have to give that trophy to the defensive back that made the game winning play. Give a shout out to Butler!