Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Urban Meyer: a lesson in prioritization

The sports world has been abuzz in recent days over the announcement by Florida Gator coach Urban Meyer that he would be resigning from leading one of the most successful college football programs in America. After the SEC championship game against Alabama Meyer had chest pains, lost consciousness and ended up in the hospital. Now Meyer, age 45, has decided that he is going to step down from the high profile program where he won two national championships.

Almost all of the media coverage reported Meyer’s comments about his heart and his decision to step down for medical reasons. Pete Thamel of the New York Times also pointed out that Meyer’s decision may have been based upon his “spiritual heart” condition as much as his physical heart.

Meyer commented that the hospital trip prompted days of soul searching that ended on Christmas night. When he told his family that he was going to step down from coaching Florida, Meyer’s 18 year old daughter, Nicki, hugged him and said, “I get my daddy back.”

Meyer said of his daughter’s reaction, “I saw it as a sign from God that this was the right thing to do.”

Meyer was known for being relentless in his work, both on and off the field. He said he found himself emailing recruits during church and that his 16 year old daughter told him that she had not felt as if she had talked to him in the past 2 years. In the 10-day period around the game with Alabama Meyer revealed that he lost 20 pounds.

Meyer said, “I have a strong faith that there is a reason for everything, and God has a plan for us. I just don’t know what it is.” Meyer continued, “I felt like God was telling me that I have to slow down and stop it.”

I agree that there is a reason for everything and that God has a plan for Meyer. I believe that to be true for you and me.

God used chest pains to get Meyer’s attention about the true “heart” of life. Does God have your attention? Meyer is making radical changes and prioritizing life as he senses that God is directing. Are you making changes and prioritizing as God directs?

Meyer’s story being so public has served all of us to remind us of the need for prioritization of the one and only life God has given us. I’m personally reflecting on what God is stirring in me that needs change.

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