Think on this…I love football. I have played the game as long as I can remember. My family has a history of producing great players and I have two cousins that went to the NFL and more that could have. I played all the way through high school and made an intentional decision not to play in college, although I was recruited and could have done well. After college I played flag football and coached my team to 2 league championships. I am even now the coach of my wife’s women’s team. I LOVE FOOTBALL! It played such a pivotal role in my character development and I was reminded of one area recently. That is, my resilience.
It was my freshman year and we had an amazing team. Not everyone on the team was a “superstar”, but the handful we had should have led us to an undefeated season. I was one of the few. But, during a scrimmage I dislocated my thumb and was out for 4 weeks. My friend Damon (who is no longer with us) had a disagreement with the coach and quit. The week I returned to play, the guys holding things together Mike R., Derrick C., and Jamie F. decided to skip a practice and they were ineligible to play. So, I was maybe one of 2 stars left, and I was a little rusty and outfitted with a soft cast on my arm. It didn’t help that we were playing the only team that could beat us, our hated rivals, Florence.
I made up my mind that it was up to me to win the game. Once the game started, I GOT POUNDED! Our main play was, hand the ball to Damian and watch him get his head knocked off. It seemed like everyone on the team had given up. Well, that sent me into a rage. I would get knocked down, and would jump back up, “Hit me harder”. I refused to give in. I argued with my team, the coaches, and the players on the other side. My coaches begged me to keep my composure, but I was not having it. There was no way I was going to let the other team beat me. We lost 44 to nothing. But, at the end of the game all the coaches from Florence shook my hand and told me how impressed they were, with my play. It was a moral victory, but a horrible loss, the only one we would suffer that season.
The lesson was worth the beating. I discovered that the harder the odds were against me, the tougher I became. It would serve as a theme for my life. When I was not accepted to college, I fought hard to get in and even earned better grades than I had in my life. When I was told that my wife was too good for me (I tend to agree), I worked to make myself a man that would be worthy of her. When my son was born with a brain injury, Daddy stepped in and fought for his son. I didn’t know any scripture at that point in my life, but God revealing one in me. “If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.” Proverbs 24:10 Football showed me how to not fail under pressure. So, no matter what you are going through, don’t quit. No matter how hard the challenge, don’t give up. Others will need your strength…Just a thought.