This week as I was driving home from work, I heard a recently released recording of a pregame speech that Vince Lombardi gave to the Green Bay Packers prior to one of their Super Bowl appearances. It was very short, not even two minutes in length. He didn’t yell or use emotional appeals. He spoke to his team about remembering how hard they had worked. He reminded them of the significance of their past and current accomplishments, and he praised them for their skill and abilities. Finally, he encouraged them, saying if they would execute what they had been taught and stay entirely focused on the task at hand, they would finish the game as winners.
Many of the players on that team had been with Coach Lombardi for several years. He didn’t tell them anything they didn’t already know and in some cases he used words that he had said to them before. I could tell from the recording though, that the words of Coach Lombardi resonated with the team. I expect that because of the investment they had made in each other, the players heard meanings in Coach Lombardi’s words that were never spoken.
Paul could be considered Timothy’s coach, and in today’s reading, Paul seems to be giving Timothy a pregame speech of sorts:
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety, and their talk will spread like gangrene. … The Lord knows those who are his … Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness. … All who cleanse themselves of the things I have mentioned will become special utensils, dedicated and useful to the owner of the house, ready for every good work.“
As we watch the Super Bowl tonight and see the teams striving to win the “Lombardi Trophy” as the Super Bowl champs, we can remember the words of Paul to Timothy. We can use those words to help us be champions in our daily walk of faith.