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Patience. - by Nate

This week the quarterback Carson Palmer led the Cincinnati Bengals as they dismantled the highly touted Minnesota Vikings 37-8.

Palmer completed his first nine passes against a dazed Minnesota defense. Palmer went 27-of-40 for 337 yards overall with touchdown passes to three different receivers. By halftime he had already passed for 267 yards and a 27-0 lead. To put that in perspective, if he had stayed on that pace he would have finished the game with over 500 yards passing. Carson Palmer could be this years breakout NFL star and the next Dan Marino. But success is no stranger to Carson Palmer.

In 2002 Carson Palmer led the USC Trojans to an undefeated season and a college football National Championship. Palmer rewrote the Trojans' record books, for most total yards most plays, most passing yards, most passing touchdowns , most pass completions, most pass attempts and most 300-yard passing games (10, including three for over 400 yards). Palmer also set school and conference records for his career with at least 2,500 yards of total offense in three seasons and won the coveted Heisman Trophy.

But do you know how many passing yards Carson Palmer had in 2003? Zero! No attempts, no completions, no touchdowns, no plays! Palmer's coaches did not want to throw Palmer into the fire too quickly and potentially ruin him as an NFL player. They smartly sat him on the bench behind a veteran NFL quarterback to learn, watch and wait. So for an entire year Palmer held a clipboard and a water bottle. What a humbling experience for a former USC star. But this patience is now paying big dividends.

In flag football, there is a lot to learn about being patient. As a wide receiver, you have to be patient even if you are 'open' on most every play. You have to be patient knowing that with 7 other players on the field, the quarterback cannot get you the ball every play. It takes patience to wait for him to find you. That patience sometimes reaps big dividends.

As a defensive pass rusher, it takes patience not to go after the quarterback too quickly. If you overshoot he could run the ball right past you and you will have surrendered a big gain. You need to have patience and slowly cut those last few feet as the play progresses without overshooting.

As a defensive player, it takes patience to take a good angle on the field to get to catch the ball carrier. If you go straight for the guy with the ball, he won't be there when you get to him. A patient player surrenders a few yards with a good angle in order to cut the player off at the sideline. Patience is required at every position. And this is what separates good players from great players. Great players, like Carson Palmer have the patience to wait for their opportunities to come.

And such it is in life. God calls us to a life of patience. Sometimes life can be frustrating, and we have to wait for things to come. It is clear that we cannot always control our circumstances, but God wants you to develop that inner patience so that He can make you into the person He wants you to be.

Think about these words from Collosians Chapter 3:12-13, what God might be trying to tell you here:

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

As we continue playing this second half, and as you continue your life this week: Remember that when things are difficult and patience is required, that being patient will help refine your character, and help turn you into the person God wants you to be.

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