Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr went out on a win...
Blocking and Tackling
On New Year’s Day college football got a bit of an old-school shock… You see, for the past few years more and more college football programs have migrated away from traditional offensive schemes and have adopted the quick-paced and flashy spread sets where you might find a running back if you squint and you’re sure to see a shotgun quarterback throw for a billion yards and run for a bunch too. Like Rubik’s cubes and slap bracelets, the spread offense is a fad that will have its hey day and then eventually fade just like the wishbone and option have done… meanwhile you have crusty old teams like Michigan up in the snow and cold of the Midwest running the same old block and tackle, three yards and a cloud of dust they always have, and behind these worn-out systems you have crusty old guys like Lloyd Carr who just can’t bear to fix what they don’t believe is broken.
When Michigan drew Florida for their bowl game opponent, the nation collectively laughed out loud. I mean Florida kills opponents by forty points with their spread offense run by Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow and Michgan has struggled with the spread all year. In fact, in our local paper 24 people made bowl picks and only one picked Michigan to win. It was Michigan coach Lloyd Carr’s last game and everyone knew it would be a blowout, but it wasn’t. In fact, the old-school Wolverines came down to the Gator’s home state and whipped them by blocking and tackling. The big boys stuck in the past showed Florida that maybe new ideas aren’t the best ideas just because they’re new… maybe the best ideas are the ones that work.
Within the past few years here in the states a bunch of new ideas have been springing up and becoming increasingly popular about what it means to be a Christian man. They are ideas about the spirit of masculinity and what God really has in mind when he thinks of a man. It has been said that men should lay aside quietness, gentleness and meekness and embrace the warrior spirit of the Christ. They say men are born fighters and that our culture is taming us to be “Mr. Rogers Christians.” At coffee shops, churches and conferences all over the U.S. Christian men are getting together to talk about all that they have lost in trying to be a tender and weak Christian when the thing they really need is to embrace strength and valor… in my opinion it’s the newest Christian fad and although it may stick around for a while, I can’t find it in my Bible.
This Christmas I got an audio Bible and the thing that is so cool about it is that I have been taking in tons of Scripture all together at one time without chapter/verse markings and without stopping to analyze individual verses… I’m just hearing the letters as letters and the stories as stories and the thing that has absolutely overwhelmed me in doing this is how much Christianity in the New Testament is all about everything Mr. Rogers was. As I have taken in huge chunks of Paul’s writings at a time I have been blown away by how sweet he was…
He is as mushy as a brother can be, gushing and doting on those he wrote to, reminding them over and over again the importance of humility, peace, gentleness, righteousness and of course love. The Apostle glories in weakness and talks of how he was mothering when he could have been assertive. He absolutely forbids retaliation, anger, arguing and arrogance. He prizes patient endurance, tenderness, quietness and singing! He would have loved Fred Rogers (who by the way loved Jesus like crazy!)
In Romans 14 Paul said, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.” In Ephesians 4 he says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” And by the way, our Lord Jesus only describes Himself once in the New Testament… remember what He said? “I am gentle and humble in heart.” Spiritual fads may come and go, but the old-school bread and butter… the blocking and tackling of the Christian life is all about tender, sweet, quiet, humble and patient love.
4 years ago