All In On The Sideline

(originally posted October 25, 2018)

This is an excerpt from the “thirty days of thanks, thirty days of giving” series I posted on my Facebook in November. Football practice started last week and I’m re-posting at the request of friends who don’t have Facebook.

#thirtydaysofthanks #thirtydaysofgiving

Day 1:

Just under a year ago, I found myself on a whole new playing field … the football field. This kid. The Colemanator. His team finished the season tonight taking only their second loss. With the heart of a lion, Coleman struggles to gain his victories – homework, merit badges, bullseye’s. This football thing doesn’t come naturally to him. The day he told me he wanted to play, I knew I had to give him some truth and yet another challenge, “Coleman. You will be part of a team. You may graduate from high school five years from now without ever walking onto the field to play. But you will still be part of the team. They need you. They need you to practice with them. They need you to stand alongside them for the wins and the losses. They need you to be part of the team. So I need to know right now: if you never get to play in a game, are you ok with that? Do you want to do this for the team?”

And my lion-hearted kid said, “Yes”.

And the weight of that “yes” told me he got it.

And oooohhh Coleman. Always true to his comical form…

He’s missed the bus  

He’s missed the plays.

He’s missed part of his uniform more than once.

But he’s never missed a practice and he’s never missed a game. He’s taken the hits and admired the heroes. And when I didn’t think that lion heart could get any bigger, it did. I dropped off a clumsy little Charlie Brown on a hot summer morning and tonight I scooped up a cold, wet teammate.

How’s that game of life going for you? Are you standing on the sideline wanting to be all in? Or are you all in whether or not you’re standing on the sideline?

I’m thankful for the sideliners and the superstars. And I give you what Coleman has taught me to give… I’ll be your teammate.

“For the body does not consist of one member but of many.”

1 Corinthians 12:14

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