I am sure most of you have heard Kenny Chesney’s new song Boys of Fall. Last night, we watched the ESPN documentary that aired Sunday by the same name. Maybe some of you watched the program as well. If you have every played football, or been a fan of football, I am sure you will want to try to catch that show. Although I tried my hand at the gridiron in junior high, I was too skinny and slow to be effective as a football player and moved on to other endeavors.
But that is not today’s point. This documentary is filled with interviews with great names from football’s past and present – from Joe Namath to Peyton Manning. The part, however, that I found very interesting was when a few of the coaches talked about the impact of tradition and history. Phil Fulmer even said, that when you are out there and its fourth and one and you think of all of the other guys that have worn the orange and white before you that it makes you get that extra yard, that it makes you dig deeper and find a way. Sound familiar?
So that and the whole concept that was being discussed that football was a microcosm of life led me to think about our lives of faith. We understand in football why the tradition has an impact on the current players. We understand the team aspects, the ‘no holds bared’ way of fighting on the gridiron. So can we take that same approach to our spiritual lives? Maybe Paul, or whoever wrote Hebrews, was a football coach on the side? He delivers a pretty good locker room speech in Hebrews 12 that sounds a lot like some of the talk on Chesney’s show:
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Hebrews 12:1-6 (New International Version)
Think about all of those who have followed Christ before you, those who have led the way, and take encouragement from them today. You can hang in there, even when its fourth and one.
Hm, maybe life is a big football game?