Thoughts and Meditations from verses and stories through one guy's head and heart... Psalm 124:7
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Well, football practice is starting up again around here, which always fills me with a wide variety of memories… some of them awesome and some of them not so awesome. The one that hit me today was definitely the latter. I was a sophomore wide receiver on the Junior Varsity team, which meant that every single afternoon of my fall semester was spent catching passes from the time school got out until the sun went down. That’s it… that’s all we did. We ran routes and caught passes all the time. Now, this probably wasn’t so bad if you were a star receiver who caught eight or nine passes a game with one or two touchdowns sprinkled in there, but for me it was absolute torture. It was nothing but mindless tedium for me because everyone from my position coach to the quarterbacks to my fellow receivers and even the parents watching practice knew that I would never, ever, ever be thrown a pass in a real game… ever.
You see, in our very first game I was playing flanker when our quarterback Chanson Hall jogged to the huddle on a third and six and called my play… a pro-left 73, which meant that I was going to run an 'out' and the ball was coming my way! Chanson made eye contact with me and winked as he called the play twice and my heart started racing as we broke the huddle and lined up. I heard the cadence, the snap and I started my route, which by the way was a perfect, textbook 'out' pattern. Chanson rolled out, threw the ball, I put out my hands, felt the ball hit them as I turned my head to run and then… I dropped it. I dropped the only pass I’ve ever been thrown. I knew in that moment I would never get another pass as long as I lived, and I was right! Everyday I went to practice and worked hard, hoping for another chance, wishing there was a mulligan… a do over… a chance to show my coaches that if they gave me the situation again I would not mess it up, and I would not drop the ball again, but that chance never came.
I was thinking about Peter today and how much he probably wanted to redo the worst moment of his life! He had told Jesus earlier that night that He would never fall away no matter what… that he would even die for Jesus, but he was wrong. Later on when Jesus was arrested and put on trial, Peter had been so afraid of winding up in the kind of trouble Jesus was in that he denied knowing Him three times! The worst of it was that two of the denials had been to a servant girl… had he really been so scared of a teenage girl?! After his last denial he met Jesus’ eyes as a rooster crowed and then he ran out of the courtyard weeping bitterly. I can just imagine what he was thinking… “Oh Lord, let me have another go! I’m so sorry! Rewind this night and let me face that girl one more time and I’ll stand up for Jesus, I just know I will!
Today I was reading the story of that denial again and noticed something kind of cool. Mark tells us that the girl who questioned Peter by the courtyard fire was the servant girl of the high priest… she worked in the high priest’s house. I wonder, was she around a month and a half later when Peter was back in front of the high priest? Was she attending the high priest on the day when he had arrested Peter for preaching that Jesus was risen from the dead? Was she there when Peter said in Acts 5, “We must obey God rather than men!”? Was she standing there when her master, the high priest had Peter flogged for preaching about Jesus? And could it be possible that she saw a very different Peter that day who left that place “…rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name”? I don’t know, but could it be that Peter got another chance to say what he should have said to a young girl who needed a Better Master to serve? Praise be to the Lord of second chances who continually gives us another day to stand up for Him!