Run It Again
“So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!”
-Ephesians 5:16 (MSG)
After a season of high school football and a season of coaching my oldest son’s YMCA basketball team, I now find myself coaching my two sons’ 10-13 year-old PAL football team. Our first game was Saturday, and we were winning 13-7, but we were looking at third and 18 from midfield. I looked at my 10-year-old quarterback, David, and told him “Bunch Left, Bootleg.”
My players ran the play perfectly: Brock carried out his sweep fake holding the defense near the line of scrimmage; David hid the ball from the defense and rolled the opposite direction; the receivers made perfect cuts, sticking and driving like I taught them in practice. Everything was going smoothly until David set up to throw the ball. It slipped out of his hand and fell hopelessly to the ground. Some people on the sidelines snickered. He was crushed.
“What happened?” I calmly asked my quarterback.
“It slipped out of my hand,” David replied with a broken spirit and a contrite heart.
“Alright, we’ll get the next one. It’s fourth and 21. Run it again: Bunch Left, Bootleg.”
I called the exact same play for two reasons. First, I knew David was capable of running it and that the ball’s slipping out of his hand was merely an accident. Second, as the play developed I’d noticed one of my receivers behind the defense uncovered.
Again, we ran the play. This time David got a more secure grip on the ball and unloaded a 25-yard pass over the defense right into the hands of one of our receivers. David had tossed his first touchdown of the season.
How often do you fail? On the field, at school, in life, as a Christian. How do you respond to failure? How do you react when the enemy is snickering at you and telling you that you’ll fail again if you try again? During these times, you must remember that God sees the end result. He sees the next play and calls on you to “run it again.”
1. Have you ever “dropped the ball” as an athlete? How did you respond? How did your coach respond?
2. Have you ever “dropped the ball” as a Christian? How did you respond? How does God respond?
3. Many athletes allow one bad play to affect the rest of their game. Have you allowed a game to be ruined because you couldn’t let something go?
4. Is there a bad play in the past that God is calling you to let go?