When preparation is adequate, performance becomes productive and exciting. Preparation that is overlooked or sloppily done causes disappointment and failure. Preparation is the key.
I always admired Roger Staubach as a college and professional football player. He was a winner on the field, but he was a bigger winner in how he lived his life. I have become more interested in his career at the Naval Academy since we have a grandson, David Hixon, who is attending there and the starter on the football team.
Roger Staubach was a multiple year all pro. He was All American in college. His performance was always excellent. He paid meticulous attention to details, was extremely disciplined, and knew how to prioritize his time, effort, energy, and spiritual growth. He said much of his life’s success was summed up when he was quoted one day as saying, “The sensational accomplishments in life are the result of unsensational preparation.”
We like the accomplishments—but it’s hard to do the things that get us ready for those accomplishments. The sensational accomplishments must always be preceded by the unsensational hard work to prepare for that moment.
I know that all people have different talents and for some of us it takes more preparation. Sensational accomplishments are relative, but I think that whatever our skill and intelligence level is, we each will be held accountable for how we apply the skills and talents that we have. Proper preparation will always be a strong contributing factor to how much we can accomplish.
I remember in college I had a couple of professors who would give “pop tests.” We would come to class, and nobody had any idea that we would have a test, which you had better be prepared for. The fact that you didn’t know when the pop test would occur indicated that you had better be prepared every day that you go to class. I got an “A” in that class because I was always prepared for the “pop test”.
In life, we don’t know when the big tests will sometimes come. They will come. We might have some warning signs that the big test is coming, but it can come unexpectedly. The important thing is to be prepared for whatever comes.
We usually know about hurricanes and tornadoes before they become reality. There is time for preparation. Some people prepare—some people don’t.
Automobile accidents and unexpected tragedies don’t announce in advance that they are coming. They just come. Some people are prepared, and some people are not. “Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all that are assembled about you.” (Ezekial 28:7)
I had a funeral recently and someone asked me if the man died suddenly. I responded that he did die suddenly. Everybody dies suddenly. You are here one second in this world, and the next second you have left this world and entered eternity. What happens then is whether or not you are prepared for death and eternity. Some people are prepared—others are not.
The possibilities of performance are preceded by proper preparation.