I had the opportunity to serve for eight years on the National Board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. There were some great coaches, athletes, and business people on that board. I felt like a mule at the Kentucky Derby, but I did learn a lot from many of them.
One member on the board with whom I was able to spend time was Coach Grant Teaff. He had compiled a great coaching record at Baylor University. He then was selected to become the Executive Director of the College Coaches Football Association. They have 7,000 members from all football divisions. He invited me to speak at the worship at one of their annual meetings.
Coach Grant Teaff was raised in Snyder, TX. When he was 13 years old, he told everybody that he wanted to be a Southwest Conference Head Football Coach. That was his dream. He had his mind set on being the head coach at the University of Texas, but he wound up at Baylor. He said he only missed by about 90 miles.
He said the thing that turned his life around was a high school coach by the name of Speedy Moffitt. He told me that he still remembers one day in high school when Coach Moffitt called him into his office. He thought he had done something wrong.
Grant Teaff weighed only 140 pounds and didn’t have much speed. He remembered those old stones in the coach’s office. He had to sit in a squeaky chair. Moffitt said, “Grant, I’m going to tell you the big secret to football.”
Teaff said that Coach Moffitt leaned over the desk, and Grant leaned forward because he wanted to know the big secret.
Coach Moffitt said to Grant, “The only limitation you have is – effort.”
He said the word “effort: just rolled off his tongue. He said, “You must execute total effort.”
Grant asked him about speed and skill, but the coach said it was all about effort – total effort. He said, “You have to give total effort, every day, every play, every way.”
As Grant started towards the door, Coach Moffitt said, “Now, remember, I’m not just talking about football – I’m talking about the classroom and your personal life.”
Grant Teaff said, “My whole life was changed by that coach telling me about total effort – every day, every play, every way.”
Jesus called a lot of people to follow him. Read in Matthew 8:19-22 how some of them started making excuses of things they had to do. Jesus said He couldn’t use them. They were distracted and not willing to give 100% total effort to following Jesus.
That raises an interesting question. Is there anything in life where you don’t have to give 100%? One exception that I can think of was given by Derric Johnson – it’s best not to give 100% when you are giving blood!
To paraphrase Vince Lombard, “The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work. Total effort is the price we must pay for success. You can accomplish anything if you are willing to pay the price.”
Follow Jesus – total effort every day, every play, every way!