Once upon a time, there was a Louisville University quarterback who had a dream, an obsession. His dream was to play pro football. However, upon graduation, this young quarterback was not drafted by the pros.

He did not give up. He wrote to several teams and finally got a tryout with the Steelers. He gave it his best shot but did not make even the third string.

“You got a raw deal.” “It wasn’t meant to be.” “I guess it’s time to hang it up,” his friends told him. But the young athlete did not hang it up. Continuing to knock on doors and write letters, he finally received another invitation. Again, he did not make the team.

Most people would have given up long before this, but not this determined young man. He fanatically committed to his personal dream. From his early days of playing sandlot football through his success in high school and college football, he had hung tight to his goal.

Patiently and persistently, he continued to pursue tryouts with pro teams. He finally went to Baltimore and made the team. Training and working long hours on fitness and skill, he worked his way from third string to becoming known as the greatest quarterback in the NFL.

Who was this persistent goal-seeker? You guessed it—the dreamer was Johnny Unitas!

Persistence in pursuing a dream is admirable. You may have experienced something similar in the pursuit of your dreams. For some, things appear to come easily, but for most of us, goals are achieved only through seemingly endless hard work and dogged determination. I know physicians, teachers, preachers, and attorneys who achieved their goals only after years of sacrificial labor.

While we are willing to pay the price, as it were, to achieve our goals for a career or a secure future, many of those same people are not as likely to be as devoted to their spiritual life. Yet, what could be more important?

The Apostle Paul was willing to pay the price for his ultimate goal:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8

Work hard to achieve your goals for education, service, career, and relationships. Never give up! But be just as determined to “fight the good fight” spiritually. Hang on to Jesus! Trust His goodness. Persistently cling to Him! That is the only good fight that truly matters.

Yours in faith,