Trusting in Jesus is anything but being “realistic.”

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see... By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible... Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:1-6).

Following Jesus is having the faith to believe in the unexpected, not limiting your expectations of Him to what you can prove factually or what others tell you is possible (or not), and not listening to the naysayers in your life, even if they are trying to “protect” you.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

A couple of weeks ago, the final regular season football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins was played. For Cowboys fans, it was a bitter loss to a perennial rival in which their quarterback, Tony Romo, threw three costly interceptions, the last one coming as they were driving for a go-ahead score.  

At the conclusion of every contest, it is customary for the starting quarterbacks of each team to meet after the game to exchange “pleasantries,” however, after this game a little more was shared. Even though this conversation was meant to be in private, NFL Films microphones caught Washington’s quarterback Robert Griffin III, a devout Christian, express these words: “Hey Tony. I just wanted to say to you, don’t listen to what anybody else is saying about you. You’re a great quarterback, man.”

The win was Griffin’s ticket to his first NFL playoff, but he took a moment to try to encourage a fellow player at a time he knew would be scrutinized and criticized by others.  

Surround yourself with those who believe in you and believe in the unfathomable power of Jesus.

If we spend our remaining time on earth listening to our “critics,” who may be our family, friends, co-workers, or acquaintances, we will end up not “achieving” anything. Quit listening to those who tell you to be realistic and practical, and begin dreaming beyond what is known to be possible.

Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in Crosswalk.com's Singles Channel.  An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback? Send your comments and questions to cydmg@yahoo.com.

Publication date: January 29, 2013