Happy Elevated Friday! Today we highlight a story of praise and thanks to God when all the cameras were rolling and people tuned in. As we all saw on Monday night, the Clemson Tigers steamrolled the Alabama Crimson Tide to win the NCAA Football National Championship. While the game itself was a great one, what the Clemson head coach, Dabo Swinney, said afterwards made big news. Immediately following the game, when all the players were rushing the field, one reporter caught up with Dabo to get a quick few sound-bites on what he was thinking and feeling about winning this national championship. Dabo took that moment to give all the credit for the win first to God and secondly to his players – reserving none for himself. Dabo’s story is an interesting one, with a tough childhood and circumstances that led him to become the head coach of Clemson that seem written for a movie – followed by the meteoric rise of the program into the top echelon of college football. That impossibility of his rise to success is not lost on Dabo, as he proclaimed of it in this interview, “…you can’t write a Hollywood script like this, only God can do this! And that’s a fact!” What is most impressive about this interview is not what was accomplished or even the particular words Dabo said, but the fact that in all the emotion, fame, and glitz of confetti raining down on his head, Dabo’s thoughts were solely on God.
God is always with us. That is the usual refrain for those of us who are going through real trials and struggles, when we feel all alone and lost. But the same holds true when we are on top of the mountain, living with all the success, fame, and fortune God can provide. It is easy to turn to God when we are suffering, as that is sometimes the only sliver of hope we have. But when everything is going right, it is easy to turn from God, bask in our own glory, shield our fortunes from Him, or forget to give credit where credit is due. In Deuteronomy, God says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." Just as much as when everything goes wrong in our lives, our true heart shows when everything goes right. Today, whether you are stuck in the deepest valley or atop the tallest mountain in your life, give thanks to God for always going with you.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." – Deuteronomy 31:6