There is no more compelling and exhilarating an experience than witnessing or being a part of a comeback. Epic comebacks in sports are a thing of legend. We marvel and revel in the stories of great comebacks. There is nothing like being counted out and written off and making a turnaround in front of a local or global audience. In life, you are not usually awarded for what you avoid; you are awarded for what you overcome.
We love comebacks in life, but the truth about comebacks is that they are hard. They are so hard that they don’t happen very often. The reason we write off a team or an individual who is far behind, or on the verge of being knocked out, is because it is so improbable that they will be able to comeback. When they do overcome, we feel the pain they went through and the courage it took, and we rejoice when they finally achieve victory. I will never forget Tom Brady and the Patriots’ improbable comeback in the Super Bowl a few years ago. Lebron James and the Cavaliers coming back from three games down against the record-setting Golden State Warriors. I am sure you can remember a few that stick out in your mind.
If we love comebacks but comebacks are so hard, what can we learn from others who have achieved the near impossible? What is it that causes a person or a team to persevere even when the haters are saying you are finished? There is an old saying, “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings.” Some of our detractors stand in the corner and take the microphone to the fat lady, so she can launch her refrain. Real comeback agents resolutely walk over to the fat lady and take the microphone because it ain’t over yet.
In this vein, I would like to share with you some comeback keys, principles that are present in the minds and spirit of those who overcome the odds to achieve improbable victory:
• Listen to the right voice. Sometimes in your head there is a voice that says it’s too challenging, it’s too difficult, you cannot make it. There is another voice that says it is possible. Listen to the voice that says it is possible. If you lose, you lose – but if you listen to the right voice, you have a chance. One day, a young man came to an old Indian chief and said, “I feel like there are two dogs inside of me; one that is telling me to quit and one telling me to keep going. What should I do?” The chief looked at the young man and said, “Make sure you keep feeding the right dog.” We have to listen to the right voice – the one that says we can do it.
• Remember that it’s not always your fault. You are not responsible for what others have done or didn’t do, so don’t blame yourself. No matter who is at fault, focus on the goal and not the mistakes or failures of others. Focus on your part and your responsibility.
• Remind yourself of past victories and instances where you overcame. When David faced Goliath and the impossible odds, he remembered what happened in the bush where he defeated both a lion and a bear. Sometimes you have to go back in your archive for inspiration. There is probably something that you overcame that you can take inspiration from for the current challenge you face.
• Find the purpose in the problem. Sometimes your problem is the key to your purpose. A young man shared with me how he went to prison and it was while he was there that he discovered his purpose and launched his career afterward. Your problem may be the key to your purpose and may elevate you. If David never met Goliath, he may only be remembered as a shepherd boy and not a king. Your problem may be the key to your purpose.
One thing we should never forget is the greatest comeback of all time that ensured we could have the opportunity to comeback. Jesus was beaten, scorned, disparaged, whipped, speared and jeered, and ultimately killed. There was no hope of coming back from the grave, but he pulled off the most incredible comeback of all time for our sakes. He made our comeback possible.
The Bahamas is facing a challenge right now and many have written us off; many are saying it is over for us, but maybe there is a purpose in our problem and there is a great victory on the horizon. Maybe we can comeback.
We can overcome.
Maybe our best days are ahead of us rather than behind us. One thing we know for sure is if you never believe, it is much harder to achieve. I believe, do you?
• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.