Last night, I attended the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet in Charlotte, NC where football players were honored with awards from the Pop Warner level all the way up to the NFL.

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The actual Bronko Nagurski trophy is given to the nation’s top defensive player and this year Kentucky’s linebacker, Josh Allen, was the worthy recipient.

Keynote speaker of the evening was Michigan’s Head Coach, Jim Harbaugh. He talked about the low percentage of players moving onto each level of football, and convincingly explained how hard and rare it is to actually make it to the NFL – let alone have a longstanding career.

What stood out to me most about Coach Harbaugh is his absolute love for the game of football. I clearly heard his passion for the sport and how much he values it, wants to be around it, and enjoys talking about it.

Coach Harbaugh told the story of how he first fell in love with football, and how he’s been living and breathing the sport ever since he was a young kid.

There are those involved in football who appear to enjoy the game, but there are others who are just flat out football people. They not only exude and represent football, but their passion is contagious and they can’t comprehend how someone wouldn’t love what they love.

Known for the quote, “Attack each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind,” Harbaugh, of course, incorporated it into his speech last night. I looked up the word “enthusiasm” and it means “intense and eager enjoyment,” and there’s no question Harbaugh feels that way about football and coaching…and wants his players to embrace the same kind of attitude.

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What about us? Do we live with an “intense and eager enjoyment” for anything? Is our greatest form of enthusiasm rooted in Jesus or some other substitute?

Do we exude and represent Jesus? Is our passion for Him contagious? Do others know how much we love Jesus by the way we live our lives and the way we speak about Him?

Do we value Jesus above all else? Do we enjoy telling others the story of how we first experienced and developed our love for Him?

As we ponder these questions and reflect on the level of our enthusiasm, let’s be encouraged by these verses:

Romans 12:11 (NLT) – “Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.”

Psalm 37:4 (NLT) – “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.”

Mark 12:30 (AMP) – “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul (life), and with all your mind (thought, understanding), and with all your strength.”

In view of God’s character and all He’s done for us through Jesus, let’s “attack each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.” Let’s seek Him with “intense and eager enjoyment!”

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please fill me with enthusiasm and joy as I think about how amazing You are. Teach me to delight in You and enjoy You. I pray I’d passionately love You and show others how much I care about You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.