The words of the great Jimmy V are echoing in my head tonight.
Earlier today, I watched Russell Wilson and the Seahawks come back and win a game in overtime to make it to a second consecutive Super Bowl. They got 15 points in 44 seconds, didn't have their first lead of the game until there was 1:25 left on the clock, and then got a touchdown on the first possession of overtime. Russell was sobbing in post-game interviews, and a teammate of his said that he never stopped saying they were going to win the entire game, even though they were down 16-0 at the half.
Russell believed they were going to win, even as fans left.
Russell believed they were going to win, even as he threw his fifth interception of the game.
I know that it's "just football", and that those guys get paid a heck of a lot of money for "just football", but I just need to say that an NFL quarterback is one job that I do not envy whatsoever. They control the offense, they are the face of the team, and even though they may be the guy everyone loves when a team wins, they are also the first guy people want fired when things don't work out.
Considering how hard I am on myself when I am the only one I have to be responsible for, I can't imagine the stress my mind and body would take if I had an entire team along with their millions of fans putting their hopes on my ability to make the right decisions under pressure.
And beyond that, the quarterback has to be the leader. He has to be the guy that keeps his teammates' heads in the game even when all hope seems lost. Because if he doesn't, they don't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning. I tend to kind of suck at even keeping my own head in the game when things get tight.
But you know what? Jimmy V was on to something. You can't give up. You can't ever give up. Because when everything else fails, hope is all we've got. Even if it's just the hope that tomorrow will be a better day, hope is what gets us through when the whole world seems to be absolutely terrifying. Hope is what pushes us to get out of bed when we really don't want to. Whether you're a Christian whose hope lies in Jesus and the promise that this world is not the end or an atheist who just has the hope that maybe the future will have something good waiting for you, we all have hope in something. We all need to have hope in something, because if we didn't, the darkness we live in every day would strangle us.
I wish I had some big revelation or lesson or something to end this post with, but really, I'm just writing it for me. To remind myself not to give up. Because truth is, right now I'm really overwhelmed and need to remember that hope dies last.