22 "But now He has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation …"
Colossians 1:22 (NIV)
My friend Brett Byford was recruited by a legend. The late Nebraska offensive line coach Milt Tenopir wrote the book, literally, on the offensive line.
Tenopir’s offensive lines are largely to blame for some of the most potent rushing offenses in college football history. During Tenopir’s career, Nebraska piled up 13 NCAA rushing titles. He coached six Outland Trophy winners and 21 All-Americans.
Take away Nebraska’s stellar offensive lines and you can probably take away their national championships in 1994, 1995 and 1997.
Brett was reading Tenopir’s book, “The Assembly Line,” in his home state of Alabama when Tenopir called him and offered him a scholarship. Brett accepted. He was the last offensive lineman to commit to Tenopir before he retired.
Former Cornhusker walk-on Matt Hoskinson said Tenopir, “ … always made me feel like I was better than I was.”
Tenopir was good at seeing and maximizing potential.
When my wife and I bought our house, it needed work. But we knew from watching HGTV, you have to look beyond what you see.
We painted, stained cabinets and landscaped. Our house looks better today because we imagined the potential.
That is what Tenopir did with his players. He looked right at them but saw more. He imagined their potential and worked to get them there. Tenopir turned walk-ons into national champions.
This is what God does with us too. He looks right at us but sees more. He imagines our potential and works in us to get us there. God turns estranged sinners with no status into His beloved children.
Tenopir’s belief in his players inclined them to become the kind of players he knew they could be. God’s vision of us in Christ propels us to become who we already are in His sight. When people are loved as they are, they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves.
Athlete, God looks at you in Christ and sees more. Consider what He sees – a beloved child who is the object of His delight.
Just like Hoskinson reveled in Tenopir’s opinion of him, revel in God’s opinion of you. Sit with it. Receive it. Relax in it.