Ray Lewis is living his perfect script. Are you living yours? Discover the incredible script awaiting your life at Find Your Perfect Script.
In 2013 the Baltimore Ravens overcame great adversity to capture their second world championship. Before the season even began team captain Ray Lewis declared he felt God telling the team this was their year. As devout men of faith the Ravens players embraced Lewis’ sermon and daily reminded each other of this truth. Though every year the Ravens players were determined to win the Superbowl this year was very different.
This is the difference between hope and faith. Every NFL player hopes to win the Superbowl. But the Raven’s players had heard a word from their team captains that ultimately came from God that transferred their hope into authentic, powerful living faith. You can hope with every ounce of mental strength in your being but faith can only come by hearing a word from God. This Word from God via the team captains transformed every player on the team. This team was no longer like the rest of their NFL peers hoping to win a superbowl championship. In a quiet and humble confidence they knew they would win.
The Ravens players desperately needed this confidence when tremendous adversity struck midway through the season. After a strong opening to the season the Ravens appeared prime candidates for Super Bowl success. Then suddenly tragedy struck. In early October defensive player maker Terrell Suggs experienced a serious injury crippling the Ravens defense. Though it was possible the team could manage without Suggs, the All-Pro linebacker was critical to the teams success. The team hobbled through this injury and the offense had to step up their game to account for a weaker defense. As the team continued to endure through this difficult storm, the unthinkable happened. The team’s leader on and off the field Ray Lewis suffered a season ending injury. As the Raven’s emotional and spiritual leader, the team was demoralized?
This is our year? How can we win a championship without our greatest leader? In the next few games the Raven’s struggles on the field intensified without their beloved play caller and leader. However, on field opponents were not the only opposing force the Ravens. The media swarmed like scavengers on a fresh kill. NFL analysts from across the country immediately scratched the Ravens off their list of Super Bowl contenders. High hopes for the team were replaced with grimacing doubts.
Despite the great adversity on and off the field, the Ravens never stopped believing. Though Lewis could not contribute on the field, he intensified his support as the emotional and spiritual leader off the team.
In many sermons Lewis reminded his teammates every day, this is our year. If God is for us who can be against us. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. Though Lewis return seemed impossible, he woke up everyday reminding Himself with God all things are possible. If God promised us this is the year, then this is the year!
To the amazement of the entire NFL community the Ravens completed the season with a respectable record and were playoff bound. They did not do it alone though. As the team accounts hard work combined with miracles was the secret to their success. Miracles are not always passive events outside of human experience. Most miracles are the result of human beings surrendering and partnering with God. One of the most memorable miracles occurred late in the season against the San Diego Chargers. At the time, this was a must win game for the Ravens if they hoped to clinch a playoff birth. Late in the fourth quarter the Ravens found themselves in desperate need of a touchdown with less than a minute to go. However nothing seemed to be working. Instead of gaining yards, the Ravens were rapidly losing yards. After three awful plays the Ravens found themselves in the worst possible position of 4th down and 29 yards to go. This was it! Do or die! The Ravens had to find a way to gain 29 yards on a single play or else their season would likely come to an end. Their opponents sent the majority of their players back into coverage to ensure the Ravens could not throw a deep ball to gain the first down.
With the season in the balance Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco snapped the ball. With defenders closing in at warp speed Flacco scanned the field hoping beyond hope that somehow one of his receivers had gotten open. No one was even remotely open! With time running out and defenders in his face, Flacco tossed the ball to running back Ray Rice in hopes of a miracle. With 29 yards and 11 defenders away from a first down, this seemed like a hopeless option but it provided slightly more hope than getting sacked by the defenders closing in.
As Flacco tossed the ball to Rice, every Ravens fan groaned in disappointment. The chances of a running back being able to gain 29 yards and beat 11 players in the open field is less than one in a million. As the rest of the Ravens players looked on from the bench all they could do was pray for a miracle.
Time stood still as the Rice snagged the ball out of midair and started juking up field. The first few yards were easy as the majority of the defenders were 10-15 yards deep defending the long pass. However as Rice run up field, defenders swarmed him like bees on a flower. The first wave of defenders rushed in. Rice majestically danced to his right and then juked to his left narrowly evading their grasp. Ravens fans everywhere held their breath. Only fifteen yards to go but 8 more defenders ahead.
Rice gazed down the field in sheer terror knowing the stakes of this single play. There was no margin for error. He could not afford to make a single mistake. One ill advised move and the season would come to an end. The next wave of defenders flew in. Rice sidestepped the first player and stiff armed the next. Five down opponents defeated and six more ahead. In a distant subconscious memory Rice gazes over at the electrified Ravens sideline. Every player is on their feet praying and hoping for a miracle.
Feeling the affects of their prayers Rice looks down field with a new energy. Only ten yards to go! I can do this! After evading two more tacklers, Rice sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
Five yards to go and only three more defenders to plow through. Rice lowers his head for the boom and like a bulldozer plows ahead at full speed bracing for impact. The bulldozer runs into a cement wall. The collusion is heard throughout the entire stadium. Instead of plowing through the final defenders, Rice is sent careening backwards in shock.
Stunned and woozy from the collision Rice wobbles off balance only a few yards from the first down marker.
“Stay on my feet. Stay on my feet. If I fall down now our season is over and this run will be for nothing.”
Though everything within his body yearns to collapse and give in, Rice somehow manages to keep his legs moving and body upright. By now a swarm of defenders has gathered around him attempting to bring Rice to the ground. With the propulsion of a jet engine and the determination of a raging bull, Rice keeps driving forward with numerous defenders draped on his back attempting to pull him down. The Ravens bench gazes on in slow motion as their ox-like running back drags three several players towards the first down marker.
Nothing in training camp could have prepared Rice for this moment. This is worse than the suicide drills Rice thinks to himself. Though exhausted and overtaken by defenders Rice digs deep searching for a few more moments of strength. One more yard. Only a few more feet. By now the defenders have latched onto his feet preventing any forward progress. Exasperated and out of options Rice exerts all his strength to lunge forward stretching the ball across the first down marker. His team erupts in cheers as Rice is finally able to breath a sigh of relief. Only a few players later the Ravens score to take the game into overtime and complete the miraculous comeback with a field goal in overtime.
The opposition is stunned. Never in the history of football has a team converted a 4th and 29 in this fashion. It was nothing short of a miracle defying all logic and probability in the game of football. NFL analysts are perplexed attempting to explain this miraculous phenomenon. But this was only the start of something greater. When asked to explain the game Ray Lewis explained it with one simple statement. When God is for us, who can be against.
If it is God’s script for us to win the championship this year, if we commit to give 100% everyday on the field – nothing can stop us. This is faith in action. Faith is a team effort between us and God. We must be 100% committed and invested in His plan for our lives.
Imagine if the Ravens decided since God’s script was for them to win the Super Bowl, they did not need to practice or train. This is a sure recipe for failure because faith without works is dead. If you are not 100% committed to God’s plan for your life, then how on earth do you think it will happen? On the other hand, even your 100% commitment without God’s help is also futile. As the Ravens championship run demonstrated when human beings dare to believe their Script and commit 100% to God’s plan, practical and tangible miracles can happen everyday.
Big deal? One miracle on 4th and 29. This could happen to anyone. As somewhat of a skeptic, I agree. I loved watching this game but was not sold that this was a miracle. However, as the playoffs unfolded continued miracles convinced me otherwise. You may not agree with miracles and that is okay. But there is something undeniable about the Raven’s journey to Super Bowl champions.
Any journey to the Super Bowl may seem miraculous or unlikely. However, before the season even began Ray Lewis told his team the Super Bowl is our script this year. Ray Lewis was so convinced He was willing to bet his entire career on this statement. In another miraculous comeback off the field Ray Lewis determined he was healthy enough to start in the Raven’s first playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts. In the days leading up to the game Lewis announced to the Ravens and the entire football world that at the end of the 2012 playoffs he would be hanging up his jersey forever.
“This is our year” was not mere football talk or positive thinking for Lewis. He knew this was the year. As he boldly declared at the end of every game, Lewis knew God had a perfect script for everyday of His life. A script that would allow Lewis to finish his career in the most profound fashion to demonstrate to the entire world, there is a God and He has a perfect script for the life of every human being.
Unlike most NFL players who decide to retire after winning the superbowl, Lewis declared his retirement before the playoffs began. Most players would not make such a bold assertion because they want to make sure they go out on top. It is one thing for a player with great odds of reaching the Super Bowl to make this prediction. But Lewis’ declaration was especially shocking since the Ravens were huge underdogs to even play in the Super Bowl. The Ravens had the most difficult journey of any team required to play on the road against two of the best teams in NFL history the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots. Ray Lewis’ announcement took the entire football world by storm.
Lewis not only preached this script, He believed it with all of his heart. He believed this script so deeply he was willing to jeopardize his legacy because He was so sure God’s will would be done in His life. Despite everyone gave the Ravens impossible odds, the Ravens knew with God all things are possible.
The 2012 playoffs were a visible, tangible demonstration of this very principle. Propelled by a motivation to win for Ray, the team sailed through the first round of the playoffs with a convincing 27-0 victory. However, there was no time to rest because the most talented and well rounded team in the league awaited only a few days away. The Denver Broncos were the most talented 2012 NFL team and the odds speculated that it would be impossible for the Ravens to win.
Despite the impossible odds the Ravens knew their faith could overcome all odds. If they were 100% committed to God and each other, with God it is even possible to overcome the worst of football odds. It was a game for the NFL history books. Both teams played their hearts out in a highlight filled, high paced, high scoring affair. However, as the last minute of the game wound down it appeared the Ravens played well but would come up one touchdown short of moving onto the AFC championship game. Apart from some miraculous comeback the Broncos were enroute another win.
With only thirty four seconds left, the Broncos defended deep passes relentlessly knowing that all they had to do was keep the Ravens out of the endzone. The odds and momentum of the game seemed to be totally against the Ravens. But when God is for you even the most unfavorable odds are against you can be easily overcome.
With less than a minute remaining the Ravens players were once again on the sideline praying for a miracle. Every passing second brought the Ravens one moment closer to their season ending. Every passing moment reminded Ray Lewis his career may be over in a matter of seconds. Aside from another miraculous event defeat was imminent. With time slipping away the Ravens refused to stop believing.
In the huddle the Ravens reminded each other, all we need is a touchdown. We have done this before and we can do it again. Keep believing. Keep trusting and keep playing with all your strength. One the next play somehow Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones got a little bit of separation
and Flacco sent one last prayer in his direction hoping for a miracle. Somehow beyond belief Jones hauled in the ball and ran the ball in for a touchdown tying the game.
Though the Ravens celebrated, they knew the game was far from over. Peyton Manning was the best quarterback in football. In overtime he would likely march the ball right now the field and score a touchdown ending the game. During the intermission the team reminded each other to keep believing.
This is our script. This is our time. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. With God all things are possible. If God is one our side, nothing… not even the best quarterback in football can take this game from us. The Ravens defense responded to this message completely shutting down the best quarterback in football for an entire quarter of overtime. The defense played so well, they forced Manning to make several very uncharacteristic mistakes. The Ravens took advantage of one of these mistakes and intercepted the ball. The offense came onto the field and in a few plays efficiently moved the football into field goal range. As the ball sailed through the uprights Lewis fell to his knees in prayer, weeping for yet another series of miracles on the field.
Immediately after the game, an interview rushed up to Lewis and asked him to explain how the team overcame incredible odds and beat arguably the best team in football. His answer was again simple.
With God all things are possible. If we are 100% committed to our script, this is our year and no weapon formed against us shall prosper.
Though the entire world witnessed another series of miracles maybe some skeptics are still not convinced. The Ravens were so motivated to dominate their nemesis opponents, the New England Patriots sheer determination propelled them to a very convincing 28-13 win and a Super Bowl birth.
Though the entire world was shocked the Ravens were able to defeat two of the best teams in football enroute to the Super Bowl, Lewis and company explained their faith was assurance of things hoped for all along. In emotional interviews many of the players explained at the beginning of the season something was different. Every year we believed we hoped to go to the Super Bowl but like Ray preached to us, we knew 2012 was our time and the script God had written for our lives.
And so the game began. Convinced of their destiny the Ravens dominated the opening half of the Super Bowl amassing a 21-6 lead. The Ravens placed an exclamation point on their determination by running back a kick return for a touchdown in the opening play of the second half. Barring some ridiculous circumstance the Ravens appeared to enroute to an incredible lights out Super Bowl victory. Instead the lights went out, literally. Suddenly the stadium went completely black as half the stadium lost electricity. Though analysts for weeks will speculate how this 34 minute delay affected the game, one thing is certain – it made for an incredible ending to the Ravens perfect script. Whether it was the extra time for the light time or rising determination on the sidelines, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his offense came alive. As the lights returned to the stadium, so did the San Francisco players. In the course of less than five minutes the entire game changed. San Francisco forced a turnover recovered the ball and quickly scored a touchdown. Then a few plays later after an errant punt, Kaepernick and teammates drove the ball into the endzone again shrinking a convincing 28-6 lead into a close 28-20 affair. After the teams exchanged field goals, Kaepernick drove his team down the length of the field again. On an impressive quarterback bootleg Kaepernick ran the ball in himself closing the margin to 31-29. After a great defensive stand to prevent the two point conversion, the Ravens received the ball back with less than seven minutes in the game. The Ravens engineered an impressive drive deep into San Francisco territory but were forced to settle for a field goal increasing their lead to 34-29.
Hollywood could not have written a more epic finale to the Ravens Super Bowl run and Ray Lewis’ NFL career. With less four minutes left to play Ray Lewis and the Ravens defense would determine who would win the Super Bowl. This final stand is the most miraculous and remarkable aspect of the Ravens journey that emphasizes God’s divine hand in this great adventure. Countless miracles – the Ray Rice 4th and 29, Ray Lewis’ recovery, performance in all past playoff games and many other details – combined to enable the Ravens to reach the Super Bowl.
But how on earth was the script was so perfectly set to allow Ray Lewis and the Ravens defense to determine the winner of the Super Bowl on the final drive of Ray Lewis’ career. Only Divine Author could orchestrate every detail of the game to arrive at this grand finale. The Ravens were winning 28-6. Many argue without the lighting fiasco that enabled San Francisco to refocus the Ravens would have likely cruised to any easy victory. Yet somehow the lights go out at just the right time to allow San Francisco to refocus and likely improve their second half performance. San Francisco could have converted to tie the game. The Ravens were driving the field and seemed like they could have scored a touchdown to secure the victory. So how does every little detail of the game dynamically intertwine to prepare for this grand finale?
It is easy to dismiss the many other miracles as coincidences or just situations that occur in football but in the Super Bowl alone there are far too many coincidences to ignore. In light of Ray Lewis’ statement before the season began and his announced retirement when the Super Bowl seemed impossible, surely these many events must be more than coincidences.
It is easy to be a skeptic. And it is just as easy for an onlooker like myself to make up this God story out of nothing. Only the individuals who lived this script – Ray Lewis and the rest of his team – know the real story. Listen to their words after each playoff game. Giving God credit for their victory was not just a nice thing to say like some people. This was not just a random occurrence. This team knew their script. From the beginning of the season they knew God said this was their time and they committed in 100% faith to this vision.
The most profound message from the Super Bowl is God does have a plan and script for human life. God’s does not just have a plan for famous or religious people like Ray Lewis but he has a plan for you too. Ray Lewis is the first one to tell you God did the impossible and allowed the Ravens to win the Super Bowl to show the world He is God and He cares for each person on the earth.
I grew up in a religious home but never believed God was real. Due to tragedy and life circumstance I desperately wanted to find out. Though I was a huge skeptic and didn’t think God actually existed, I decided to give Him a chance to prove Himself. As an amatuer athelete I prayed and asked God to show me He was real through my sport. Through sports and other very tangible ways God showed me that He was actually real.
To my many friends who are skeptics, I do not expect you to believe this account. However, I would like to ask you to do me one favor. As I did in my teen years, give God a chance to prove Himself. Sometimes we are skeptics so long, we will not believe anything even if it showed up at our front door. God can’t prove He is real because we never give him the chance to.
If you are a skeptic and want to prove that God does not exist take this challenge. For the next month honestly and openly pray everyday, God if you are real show me. I promise you somehow some way, really neat things will start happening in your life. Like Ray Lewis and others will you discover the incredible joy of following God’s script and you will never be the same.
God is working through sports to prove He exists and has a perfect plan for your life. He showed up in tangible ways at the Superbowl and He wants to show up today in your life. A perfect script awaits. Will you embrace it or keep doubting?
At times many of the Ravens players doubted the script but they kept reminding each other if you have faith even as small as a mustard seed (one of the NFL’s toughest and meanest players Terrell Suggs quoted this last night) you will accomplish great things in this life.
Your heart was drawn to the Super Bowl because you have been created for greatness. It is time to stop dreaming about greatness or watching it on tv.It is time to stop dreaming your life and start living your dreams. Last night you witnessed the culmination of Ray Lewis’ perfect script. He came. He saw. He c conquered He is riding of in the sunset with a legacy this world will never forget. Though you may never play professional football, God has created you to live an equally epic and exciting legacy. Your script is ready and waiting? How will you respond today?
When things looked impossible Ray dared to share with his teammates the vision and perfect script God had for them. Because of one man’s obedience and faith, he led a team to overcome impossible adversity and become true champions. He has called each one of us to do the same. What script has God written for your life? What teammates (family members, business partners, coworkers and friends) has God called you to challenge to live out the perfect script for their lives?