Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Football Player's Letter to God
I have sweat, trained, listened to my coaches, learned tons of difficult receiver routes, and have visualized success. I have endured spring training, have run drills until I wanted to puke, and have survived two- a-days in 105 degree plus heat. I have completed all of my daily work-outs, never cutting corners when the coach wasn't looking, sometimes staying late to do a bit extra. I have kept a PMA through difficult circumstances. I have tried my hardest to play through pain.
But, despite all my effort, I am discouraged.
First of all, I sprained my ankle the day before our first game. It is still painful and swollen. Sometimes my leg just quits working because of the stress. Secondly, yesterday was a very bad practice where nothing went right. The voice inside my head yelled at me to give up and quit. It told me that I would always be a rotten football player. When the football hit my hand, I think I broke my finger. This morning I couldn't tie my own shoe. I had to take my mom's car to school because I wouldn't have been able to shift my Jeep's gears. My finger is purple, and it really hurts. Oh, and one more thing, I have poison ivy all over my leg and have no idea where that come from.
How can a hand that does not bend catch a football?
More than my ankle and finger, I see the dream of my entire childhood slipping away. All I have ever wanted to do was to play high school football. I grew up watching my big brother and his teammates that I admired so much. I was the kid in the end zone playing my own game while watching the real one. I told myself I would be on that field one day. I saw myself catching passes, making tackles, and running the ball over the line.
Now it is my time. Time to turn dreaming into reality. I'm a junior, and the season is now.
I'm so discouraged, God. The mountain seems to grow, not shrink. It would be so much easier to quit.
And, besides all of the above, it just seems that evil people prosper. It just seems like You bless the bad guys. You know the ones: the players who are cocky and break all the rules and give our team a bad rep. The guys who tell fellow players, "You suck. You should quit." God, You know who I am talking about. I try to have intergrity, to do the right thing, to encourage those around me. It seem there is no reward for this!
Life just really sucks right now.
A Discouraged Foootball Player
Dear Football Player,
Even though it doesn't seem like it, I have seen all of which you have spoken, the good and the bad.
I've seen the faith you have had during those very dark August days when just putting on a jersey didn't seem possible. I worked some miracles to get you back for another year in your very expensive private school. Everyone who knew your situation, even your own parents, were amazed that you could believe the unseen so clearly!
It made me smile to see your faith in Me!
If I could do all that I have done, don't you think I can heal an ankle and a finger? Remember who I am!
And, about those bad guys, I want you to think about how beautifully a diamond shines against a black background.
Don't quit, Discouraged Football Player. It is always the darkest just before dawn.
Here's something I asked my friend Isaiah to write down for me a few years back. He wrote it to encourage you!
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary (football player who wants to quit),
And to him who lacks might (the will to overcome difficult circumstances) He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly (drop passes, run wrong routes, sprain their ankle, break their fingers),
Those who wait for the Lord ( invite Him to help them overcome, ask Him to join the team)
Will gain new strength (mentally and physically);
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40: 28-31)
Football Player, I am with you at every practice, game, and in your mind where the discouraging voice speaks. I'm the One who created in you the ability and desire to play football! Surely, we will walk through this valley of discouragement together. The top of the mountain where you dream to reach is very far right now, but You are never alone.
I love you so much,