Rich, my spiritual mentor and next door neighbor, and I were talking one night. It just so happened I was leaving the next day for training camp. He was asking me about what camp was like, and as I explained I'm sure I came off as feeling a little sorry for myself. I was at a point in my career where I still loved the sport of football, but I knew that playing in the NFL was a job as well. Nobody, and I mean nobody, loves training camp- two a day practices, endless meetings, sleeping in dorm rooms away from your family- in fact, I hate training camp. It's football from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. And then wake up the next day and start over. Training camp is also a lot of pressure. Its when you either earn or lose your job on the team. If you don't make the team, you don't have a job, you don't get paid, you don't have the attention that goes along with playing the NFL, and you don't get an opportunity to win the Super Bowl. Our society places a high value on these things. So, as I explained these challenges to Rich, he paused, and said very matter of factly, "Well, it's really quite simple. Training camp is a test of faith."
His summation didn't resonate with me. I was confused. After an awkward silence Rich explained- years ago he was a 'hot shot' salesman and he had a meeting with a prospective client. Rich was feeling pretty good about his chances to secure this account, and thus the rewards that would come with it (money, status in his company, etc.). The day before the meeting his enthusiasm was visible when Rich went to his bible study. Someone asked him why he had such a spring in his step, so Rich explained. An older gentleman with some wisdom told him, "It's really quite simple. This meeting is a test of faith." The wise man went on to ask Rich whom was he putting his faith in in regards to this meeting- the client or God? Did he want this account so badly that all he was focused on was getting it? Or was he going to the meeting to praise God by being prepared and giving it his absolute best shot?