Thoughts and Meditations from verses and stories through one guy's head and heart... Psalm 124:7
Friday, November 30, 2007
The kids at Thanksgiving. Last-Minute Tactics
My dad coaches a high school football team in West Tennessee and they are currently plowing their way through the state playoffs, which is Dad’s favorite place to be in late November! Last week they were minutes away from losing the quarterfinal game when some drastic measures paid off in a big way…
There were only about two minutes left in the game and not only was Dad’s opponent up by a touchdown, but they also had possession of the football. Now, if you don’t know football, that basically means that this opponent was sitting in the driver’s seat to win the game. There’s not a whole lot you can do when you’re down by a touchdown and the other team is eating up the clock by running the ball a few yards at a time… In those waning minutes, the coaches decided to go for a long shot; an unprecedented play call that had basically no chance of doing very much good. They called a safety blitz, which means that the last guy in the line of defense would rush the offense to get into the backfield as soon as the ball was snapped to try to make the play fall apart in some way.
The teams lined up, and as the opposing quarterback began his cadence, Dad’s free-safety started running toward the offensive line, trying to time his blitz perfectly with the snap of the ball… BAM! It was over as soon as it started… the second the ball was snapped to the quarterback, this safety was in his face. The ball went through the quarterback’s hands, bounced off his chest and was pulled out of the air by the blitzing defender! After getting the ball, he was (as Dad always says) off to the races… Can you believe it?! This free safety stole the bobbled snap from the middle of the air right in front of the baffled quarterback and scored a touchdown while everyone on the opposing team stood around scratching their heads. Dad’s team kicked their extra point giving them the one-point lead that won the game! It was the kind of thing that only happens in the playoffs…
When you’re at the end of the game, (and the end of the season) you sometimes make the calls that seem crazy… the calls that seem like they won’t work, because you’ve got to do whatever it takes. I’ve been reading 1 Peter this week and one of the things he talks about a lot in this book is the fact that we are at the end of the game… there are only a few minutes left on the clock, so what plays should we call? How should we live in light of the fact that we’re almost done? Well, in chapter 4, Peter says, “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
Sometimes it seems like a long shot… a play call that has no chance of doing any good, but hey, we’re at the end here, so love each other. And not just love each other, but love each other deeply… For some folks, this is an unprecedented call… the one that has no chance of working, but Peter says it’s the most important thing. “Above all else,” he says, “love with all you’ve got.” Love the hard-to-love folks, the hateful folks and the folks who would never love you back. Love deeply. You never know… it may just be the play that wins the game.