When Jesus is Your Quarterback

(published: Cordele Dispatch)

I love fall weather! We know it’s fast approaching when school starts back every year. Just when the students are getting familiar with their new class schedules, football season arrives, bringing with it the cooler temperatures. Even more than I love fall weather, I love high school football! (This Wilcox County girl loves Patriot football in particular!) I love everything about it: the crispness of the air, smell of popcorn, sound of helmets bashing, and the roar of applause from the stands. As a high school cheerleader, I had the awesome opportunity to cheer for a very talented football team. Twenty-something years later, I get that same opportunity, only now I’m cheering from the stands. If you’re ever at one of our games, all you have to do is look towards the stands and you’ll probably spot me and one of my sisters. We’re always holding blue and gold pompoms. We don’t seem to know how to cheer without them. Coming from a very demonstrative family, you should know that we are in good company at the game with other family members in the stands. A few rows behind us are what we refer to as the “Jug Heads”. No offense to them; we love them! Just as my sister and I always have our pompoms, they show up to every game with hand-painted milk jugs full of rocks. A few of them carry more than one jug in each hand. They stand ready to create all sorts of commotion when our defense is at battle with the opposing team. As I watch from the stands, I’m sometimes reminded of some of life’s lessons that can be learned on the football field. We all know that there has to be a loser; and we all know that we don’t want to be the loser. We might relate losing to the disappointments in life and the wins to the high points in life when everything seems to be going our way. Win or lose, we are supposed to show good sportsmanship and learn from our mistakes. Before the team heads out to the field for a game, they have to have a game plan. They also have to warm up before each game and prepare themselves physically and mentally. The team also has to have a quarterback to call the plays which put the ball in motion. Who is the quarterback on your team? Are you the one calling the shots? What’s your record? There are many days that I awake and immediately call the shots for my day ahead. I decide what I’m going to do without even giving Jesus a bit of my time. I run out on the field of life and put the ball in play, only to loose yardage with one penalty after another. Sin is like those penalties. It sets us back and causes us to have to play “out of a hole” so to speak. Penalties from the sin in our lives make it harder to win the daily battles. But there are also days when I recognize my weaknesses and remember that there’s one who knows the best plays to give me daily victories – his name is Jesus. He’s the best quarterback in the region, better yet, the state! He always listens to the coach (Holy Spirit) and knows how to get my team ahead. If I will just listen to him and execute the play that he calls, it’ll be a sure touchdown every time, free of penalties, busted plays, and turnovers. So much can be learned from the sport of football. I myself am still learning a new rule or two every year. It can be a very complicated sport at times. Life’s the same way, but we can learn from our mistakes and trust in Team Jesus to get us the win we’re after. Let’s play ball!

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