I enjoyed watching the highlights of the recent ice hockey game between Russia and the United States at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. You don’t need to be a history guru to understand that any competition between the US and Russia is a BIG deal. What stood out to me about this game was how calm the US shootout player, TJ Oshie was. In such a tense situation, a winner takes all situation, a time when most people duck for safety – TJ stepped forward and calmly converted goal after goal, winning the game for his Country. Call it cold blooded, call it whatever you want, feats like that are not the norm – they are the exception, and they occur when opportunity meets preparation. TJ  must have put in the work in practice, over the years to get to the point of being selected for the team, then being selected for the shootout. But smiling in such a tense situation? That is surreal, that is taking it to another level.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was faced with His own high stakes situation. A tense moment. The fate of humanity rested on his shoulders. If he blew it, well, he blew it. More pronounced is the fact that He had it in His power to flee from the impending arrest, to duck, to kick the can down the road. But he didn’t. He faced the  moment. He was cool, calm and collected. He knew He was  made for this moment. He knew He was to drink of this cup. He understood that all His preparation led up for a time such as this. He patiently faced His moment and thank God He did for we would not be saved today had he not.

Treat every emergency leisurely. Be cool, calm and collected, especially in tense and high pressure situations. There is a point where having done all you can do, you just have to stand. There is a point where you just have to rely on God who is always with you. A point where you have to trust that the preparation you have put in is enough. This crunch time, this clutch period is nothing but another opportunity for you to do what you’ve been doing routinely for months or years. Yes, the stakes are higher but the process is the same. Tweak it if you must, but this is no time to change the game plan. It is time to execute with excellence.  In your life time, you will have at least one of these high stakes situations. Will you be ready?

…and having done all, to stand – Ephesians 6:13