For the remainder of this week, the LPJ will run letters and from community supporters for the Ruston Bearcats after their run to the Superdome. Submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org will be accepted through 12/15/22.
Your talents, effort, and teamwork led to success on the field which may help future teams play for and win championships.
Your season was very much like the 1984 team, of which I was a part, which also finished 13-2 with loses in an early game and the state championship. As such, here’s what I would tell my younger self which I hope is helpful to you:
(1) Your true identity is not based upon success or losses in a sport, classroom, your future job, or in worldly things. Truth be told, the 1984 team, except for those connected to it, is rightly overshadowed, and perhaps even forgotten, due to the championship teams of that era. Similarly, your efforts this year should they lead to future championships may also, ironically, lead to the 2022 team being overshadowed, too. But, even the championship teams will one day be largely forgotten. Know this though: The only identity that has eternal meaning is whether you trust, love and follow Jesus, or not. The Good News is that by committing your life to Him “all things work together for good to them that love God.” (Romans 8:28)
(2) Football can teach teamwork, discipline, toughness, leadership, and humility. Since most cannot play it beyond high school, its value is primarily in these life lessons and the relationships which are built. Keep the wins and losses in that perspective, don’t dwell unhealthily on either, and commit going forward to define “winning” through the lens of scripture and Christ’s gospel.
(3) Look to be part of building in Ruston or whatever future place God leads you a life, family, church and community that honors Jesus and loves its neighbors. This is the type of legacy to which we all should aspire.
Godspeed going forward!
*Letters and notes will be reviewed by LPJ staff before publishing. Not every note is guaranteed to be published.
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