Conquering Fear: 37X


For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. —2 Timothy 1:7


One of the great teachers I had in high school was my football coach. I remember one particular night during a junior varsity football game that our coach taught us a lesson we would never forget.

Coach’s favorite play was called 37X. It was a simple handoff to the fullback over the left tackle. Nothing fancy—just basic football, but for some reason it was the first play we ran every game. When we took the huddle that night, we already knew what play to run first—37X. As we broke the huddle, however, we were greeted with a sight that spelled certain doom for coach’s favorite play. There, lined up right over our left tackle was the biggest junior varsity player we had ever seen. He was huge, nearly 300 lbs. and very intimidating. As the play unfolded, our fullback ran right into the gigantic defensive lineman and was tackled for no gain. It was like running into a brick wall. Disgusted, our fullback picked himself up and staggered back to the huddle. We knew right away that coach had better run a different play.

As the wide receiver came from the side of the field, he ran up to the quarterback and said, “Coach said run 37X again.” The results were the same.

Our next three offensive possessions were the same. Each play, we ran 37X and punted. Finally our coach’s stubbornness paid off. On the first play of our fourth possession, 37X went for a huge gain all the way down to the eight-yard line.

On first and goal from the eight, our wide receiver ran on to the field with the next play. Our quarterback ignored him, saying, “We know—37X.” “No, no!” yelled the receiver. “Coach said run any play you want to run.” “What?” said the quarterback? “Coach said run any play you want to run,” the receiver again replied. Amazed, the quarterback turned to us and said, “Linemen, what do you want to run?” “37X!” was our loud reply. The result, TOUCHDOWN!

Our coach always used to say, “Never run away from what you are afraid of—run right at it.”


1. What do you fear?
2. How do you confront your fears?


Extra Reading: Psalms 23:4; 27:1; 34:4


Lord, teach me that I have nothing to fear as long as I walk with You. Amen.