Lessons From a Football Field

Gesly Susan   |   August 24, 2015 

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Being the short chubby kid growing up, I always hesitated trying my hand at any kind of sport. I would be one of those kids who (literally) stood by the side lines watching other kids cross finish lines, score goals and hit sixes. As much as I wanted to give sports a shot I was too proud to try something that I could potentially fail at.

However, being married to an athlete and having moved to a country where every other person plays some kind of sport, I am slowly overcoming my dread of trying and/or failing at sports. Having said that, a couple of weeks back a group of kids from church were playing football. Now when I say “football" I mean the American-type, a sport I had no clue about, but thanks to American television I did know terms like “quarterback” and “ touchdown." And after some much needed encouragement and a very vague understanding of the game, I left my pride and inhibitions aside and joined in on the game.

Now I would love to tell you guys that on that football field I completely surprised myself with my athletic skills that have been dormant all these years while onlookers cheered me on. Let’s just say my football skills were more “non-existent” than latent. In fact, till this date I still don’t exactly understand all the rules of football. However, I loved the fact that I tried and enjoyed it.

It also made me wonder how God deals with His specific callings in our lives. I may not yet be an expert on football, but here are some life lessons from my one day of football that I hope you can glean some truth from today:

  1. Don’t be afraid to get hurt: I do admit that I shuddered at the thought of being chased by half a dozen people in the unlikely event the football was in my hands. For those of who have watched football in high school chick-flicks or actually played the sport, you know that it can be a full contact sport. It’s literally your opponent's job to knock you down. No professional player can step onto the field with the fear of getting hurt on their minds as much as that is a possibility. There may be a playing field that God calls you to - maybe a change of place, a new relationship or even a difficult conversation. However, the fear of getting hurt stops you even from stepping onto the field. Nehemiah, Moses and even Jesus Himself faced many hardships and heartaches because they stepped out and followed God’s calling. In all possibility, hurt will follow when you follow His calling, but at the end there is no joy like knowing you at the centre of His will.
  1. You may not get all the details: Since I was the only one who did not really know the game and because I joined the game half-way through, I did not understand all of the rules. I had the basics, Get the ball to the other end of the field. As the game went on I picked up some other rules. Often God calls us to things without giving us the details. If we all had a blueprint of our lives ahead of time, we would be constantly worried of all those hardships and trials that were yet to come. I believe that God, in His Sovereign wisdom and mercy, revels things to us in bits and pieces. This “lack of details” is God's way of teaching us to trust Him.
  1. You don’t always win: As much as I enjoyed playing that day, our team lost. Every player wants to win every time, but no one quits playing a sport they love because they may loose from time to time. God may call you to pursue a soul that may never be won or a broken relationship that may never heal. There is no guarantee of “a win” in human terms. Don’t let hardships, roadblocks or downright failures make you doubt God’s calling in your life.

And finally,

  1. It’s not all about you: A star player is useless unless he learns to play as a team and puts the team above himself. Everything each player does is geared towards the team winning. It can't be about you. As Christians we need to constantly remind ourselves that God has a much bigger picture in mind when He calls us for His purposes. Not all of us are called to be star quarterbacks, some of us are called to be kickers or coaches, which are equally important. And at the end of the day you are part of a much grander purpose- His Kingdom. I often picture God having this expanse aerial view of each of our lives. In this, he is majestically weaving events and lives to intersect, having the final grander picture of His Kingdom in mind. Today you might be called to be a missionary or an accountant or a housewife, which are all equally important roles. Keep in mind that someday we will get to see that aerial view of our own lives, see that final tapestry God is weaving and will see each one of us was a beautiful thread in the greater picture.

 

Photo Credit: Giovanni Arteaga cc

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Gesly Susan

Having moved from city to city and country to country in her growing up years, Gesly recently moved to Canada making it her new home. Having a background in social work, she enjoys working with children with special needs, traveling, writing, deep conversations and music.

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