The big game is coming up this weekend! Millions will watch. They may be avid or casual fans. Or they might be curious as to what kind of advertising creativity could possibly be worth $4,000,000 for 30 seconds of fame. I guess Bank of America, Cheerios, Coca-Cola, Doritos, GoDaddy, Pespi and Toyota are all interested in playing the game. They and many more will pony up millions for their 30 or 60 second spots during Super Bowl XLVIII and we will share our favorites on social media or around the water cooler on Monday morning.
For those actually interested in the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks play on the gridiron, there are tons of statistics that show first half performance can get you in the game, but second half play will determine who leaves the field with the trophy. It’s a lot like life. What happens at halftime, matters.
Halftime is when the best coaches and team leaders assess and adjust. If you’re behind, you look at what’s gone wrong and rework your game plan. If you failed to prepare and got thumped, you change it up.
That’s the tactical approach. There’s also the emotional inventory because it may be that the other team is doing nothing to you. You’re doing it to yourself. You may adjust there too.
Coming out of halftime, it comes down to how badly you want something and what you’re willing to do, mentally and physically. Sacrifice and selflessness factor in because winners always come in a group package. Peyton Manning’s or Russell Wilson’s are nice to have but it’s teams that win, not stars. Besides that, every team has a surrounding cast of coaches, leaders, assistants and counselors. It can go either way.
As a pastor, I’ve had 50-yard line seats on the lives of men and women who have come out of halftime to finish well. They leveraged their first half success for second half significance. I’ve also been on the sidelines helping pick up the pieces of those who built a lead and then somewhere dropped their guard. It can go either way.
Someone did a study of the lives of men and women in the Bible. Where there was sufficient data to track, the study concluded that two-thirds of the biblical characters finished badly. If only a third of them made it past the two-minute warning and finished strong, that should tell us something. We humans are prone to blowing the game.
Richard Rohr writes in, “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,” about every life’s second half: “In my opinion, the first half of life is no more than finding the starting gate. It is merely the warm-up act…We are summoned to [the second half], not commanded to go, perhaps because each of us has to go on this path freely, with all the messy and raw material of our own unique lives. But we don’t have to do it, nor do we have to do it alone.”
So the second half is no promise, no guarantee. It’s just a chance to redeem ourselves or to ruin all we’ve gained so far. The first half gets you in the game; the second half is for your best plays.
QUESTION: What helps you most to keep your game sharp in the second half? Please share it below.