Monday, January 12, 2009

Football Craze

I went for a walk to enjoy some warm winter sunshine and noticed some neighborhood boys playing football in the park. They had the flags on and everything!
Football has been on my mind and part of my family’s schedule lately as we have planned some of our activities around play- off games. The Cardinals are ROCKIN’ and from what the papers are saying, Kurt Warner continues to be able to live the NFL life and keep God #1…that is so admirable. I love football and think it is fun…but not as much as I love God and think He is fun! Thinking of my faith and football I kept my eyes on the park…

I was admiring the fun and thrill that radiated from them as I walked by the grassy field. I watched them huddle together and use their creative minds to construct some’ sure to be’ new- never- seen- before plays. I asked God why don't I and others connect more often the words fun and thrill with a life full of You? Then I felt my eyes fall back on the game...
The first play I saw was when the quarterback faked a pass and then maneuvered past his defender and out ran him for a touchdown. This young QB cheered and gloated a bit with everyone else just standing still, staring at him. I think the word awkard describes the moment best with the rest of his teammates not even impressed with his recent score.
I was really beginning to enjoy this moment; praising God for one thing after another. The warmth of the sun, the thrill radiating off of the field from these young boys, the large park with a wrap around sidewalk path so I was able to see the next possession without stopping to sit and make my fanfare known. With the next possession, the same star QB then included his teammates in the play and when he passed it off he also blocked a defender; taking a hit so his buddy was able to maneuver to the end zone for a goal of his own. I couldn’t help but notice the difference after this touchdown! Everyone cheered and high—fived and the QB seemed to smile even bigger this time.
And I remembered a time when I was about 12 and played flag football with the kids at school and in my neighborhood. Oh, I was a dainty little girl (sounds so much more fitting I think than the name of ‘chicken legs’ I was given by many…) but probably initially seeking my father's approval knowing his heart desired a son; I loved to play and I am so thankful for a neighborhood boy who taught me how to play football. He took the time to teach me how to catch and throw a spiral and the rules of the game--so much so I remember impressing my dad and uncles when Sunday afternoon games rolled around. I think I appreciate more now the heart of that kid who took the time to teach me and include me!
I felt God whispering as I got to notice this moment…isn’t this just how God works in and through us. He could definitely take care of us all by Himself; yet He loves to include us and allow us to touch the hearts of others as He works in and through us. And doesn’t He give us ample times to practice in this life to include others in the fun rather than run all by ourselves to the goal line!!
I can’t help but think about how Christ is committed to me and how I want my commitment to my friends and family to be a reflection of my love for Christ…we are all equals at the foot of Christ…may we learn to work together for the common goal!
Lord, please forgive me for the times I ran ahead by myself and had no peripheral vision for those around me and whether directly or indirectly left someone out of the game plan. Please help me to pay attention and realize that the plays in this life are so much more fun when others are included.
I am grateful when I can invest, encourage, support and include my me to live this out in my life now!
And thank you for that neighborhood boy who taught me what he knew; encouraged me and then even told everyone else just how great of an asset I would be on their team before he moved away. His life that touched me for just a short time exemplied Christ to me. Because as I read about Christ, I find that He too taught others what He knew, He too encouraged others and He too spoke blessings on others before He went away...I so want to be a friend like that!!

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