By Dan Britton
“Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don't let anyone put you down because you're young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity…” - (The Message)
“Mr. Irrelevant” is an award that started in 1976. It is given to the very last player selected in the NFL Draft. The 2009 “Mr. Irrelevant” award went to the then Kansas City Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop, who has helped the Chiefs each season since the draft. In 2009 he was pick number 256 in the last round and was given a trophy—the Lowsman Trophy, which is a spoof off of the Heisman Trophy. This trophy actually depicts a player fumbling the ball!
At the draft, he was even given an official NFL jersey with the number 256 and “Mr. Irrelevant” on the back. Can you imagine getting tagged with the title “Mr. Irrelevant”? Basically, people are saying you are not important. I’ve been called many names over the years, but I would struggle with this one.
As an athlete, you can call me anything you want, but don’t say that I don’t count or that I’m not significant! As a Christian competitor, Succop had a very different outlook on his title. After he was given the award, he said, “I don't really mind it. I don't plan on being irrelevant. I've been very blessed, and I plan on making an impact right away. I've been blessed with the ability to do it, and I'm looking forward to doing it." What a stud! I love it. You can throw a “we are making fun of you” award and a spoof trophy at him, but he is not going to get off track. He is grounded. As a young man, he has depth and wisdom.
FCA staff member Frank Hester said this about Succop’s impact at the University of South Carolina: “Ryan is steady and consistent on and off the field. He loves the Lord and gives Him all the credit for his talent and success. Ryan really tries to give back by speaking at local FCA Huddles and churches and by visiting sick children in the hospital.” Now two years later, Ryan Succop is making an impact in the NFL. God prepared him for this so that he could respond with power and might, not weakness. Succop plowed ministry ground in college, and is doing the same in Kansas City. The great thing about Succop is that he is not letting others define him. They can give them the title “Mr. Irrelevant,” but in God’s eyes, he is “Mr. Impact.”
What about you? Are you planning for impact like Ryan Succop? Do you want the world to define who you are, or do you want the Lord Jesus Christ to define you? In sports, we often allow coaches, teammates, fans, family and friends to define who we are. Maybe you don’t have the Lowsman Trophy on your shelf, but I’m sure you have felt irrelevant. Maybe the coach benched you or you didn’t get the playing time you deserve. Teammates don’t hang out with you anymore. Well, it’s time to stop trying to defend yourself. Instead, go on the offensive and impact others for Christ. Shower them with unexpected love. Do the unthinkable and have the attitude of Jesus.
God has already anointed you for this time. If you have joined God’s team by believing and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, then you are set apart for a great work on your team, campus, community and in your family! You are set up for impact. You are not fighting for victory. Christ is already victorious, so we are fighting from victory not for it. Remember that when you feel like you have to win. As a disciple, you have already won! Ryan, you are victorious. Thank you, Mr. Impact, for reminding me that God has put greatness in me, regardless of what others say.
1. Have you ever felt irrelevant or unimportant? Why and what did you do about it? 2. How do you respond when you are called names? How can we learn from Ryan Succop? 3. Is it hard to not let your mind dwell on the bad stuff? How do you renew your mind? 4. Do you see impact in your life? 5. Why is it easy to have an impact in the world today? On the flip side, why is it hard to have an impact in the world today? 6. How do you respond to the fact that we are already victorious? What does it mean to you that we fight from victory not for victory?
“Lord Jesus, I long to make an impact on those around me. When it comes to the Kingdom, the last thing I want to be is irrelevant. Help me, Jesus, to have an awesome attitude like Ryan’s. Fill me up, Holy Spirit. Anoint me to do Your plan. Put a sense of urgency in my heart. Thank You, Lord, that I have victory because You never lose. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”