New Castle News

February 27, 2014

Tim Kolodziej: Heading in the right direction? We’ve got a ‘50-50’ shot

Tim Kolodziej
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Ever drop a buck or two on the 50-50 at a high school football or basketball game?

Life is a lot like that, you know.

Sports, especially.

Ask coach Ralph Blundo for some of the key ingredients to the New Castle High basketball team’s incredible success, and there’s no doubt “50-50” will be one of his answers.

If there’s a loose ball on the floor, that’s a 50-50 play.

If there’s a rebound coming off the backboard, that’s a 50-50 play.

If there’s a choice between dwelling on the last play, which you can no longer control, or focusing on the NEXT play, which you can control, that’s a 50-50 proposition.

You may be way past your prime when it comes to high school athletics — or, perhaps, you’ve yet to reach that level — but I promise you: Every day, in every way, you will fight your own 50-50 battles.

There’s a good chance you already did before you got out of bed.

Snooze button ... or up early and ready to roll.

Oatmeal ... or a donut.

Morning cigarette and coffee ... or a walk on the treadmill.

Jump on Xbox and television ... or reading the Bible or other inspirational material.

Caustic talk radio on the way to work ... or audio books and podcasts for your “University on Wheels.”

Flip off the guy who just cut in front of you ... or just keep driving.

It’s your life.

It’s your call.

Scary, isn’t it? We actually have the free will to choose the direction our lives will take today.

I won’t lie. Those are some rough 50-50 battles we must encounter at home and in traffic — and the day has barely begun. Wait ’til you get to work.

But nowhere is the war more fierce than in your mind.

It always starts and ends inside your head.


The voice you believe will determine the future you experience.

That was the theme of a talk my wife and I watched this week from Steven Furtick. His message was powerful and convicting.

In essense, Furtick said, we get to choose what we think.

•“I’m not good enough” or ... “why not give it a shot?”

•“They’ll never hire me” or ... “I’m prepared and I’m going to shine in the interview.”

•“Whoa! Those guys are big” or ... “I’ll work hard on my position and leverage to battle them.”

•“I stink at math” or ... “with some extra work and help from a tutor, I can really improve.”

It’s a myth to simply urge each other to “choose wisely.” We must think first.

Dr. Ben Carson did.

Carson grew up in poverty with a single mother who couldn’t read, but he didn’t think he needed to follow the same path. Nor did his mom.

She challenged him to shut off the TV and pick up a book, and Carson now credits his love of reading as the key to his success. Today, he is considered to be the nation’s leading pediatric neurosurgeon.

“The person who has the most to do with you — is you,” Carson often says.

That’s the voice he heard.

That’s the voice he believed.

“Your thoughts are to your soul what food is to your body,” Furtick stressed in his message.

A gourmet meal or junk food.

Serve yourself.

Beware the haters.

Every street corner has ’em. There are plenty in the stands, too.

They’ll try to talk you down from the ledge when it’s in your best interest to keep climbing.

“Every time we believe the lies of the enemy,” Furtick continued, “something inside of us dies.”

So sad. So true.

Ask Dennis Rodman. Ask Andrew Bynum. Ask John Edwards or Bernie Madoff or Justin Beiber or ... (fill in the blank).

The lies we LISTEN TO bring destruction and pain.

Yet there is freedom in the truth WE SPEAK TO OURSELVES.

Let me repeat that: We can LISTEN to lies or SPEAK truth.

“It would be a shame to go through my whole life and never meet ME,” Furtick said.

So, that begs the question: Who are you, really?

Or, better yet, who do you want to become?

How will you want to be remembered?

What direction will your life take today?

It starts in the mind.

Lies or truth.

A 50-50 proposition.

Life always is.

(If you would like to see the talk mentioned earlier in its entirety, CLICK HERE.)