As we make our way through the dog days of summer each year, my yearning to see the boys of fall throw the ‘ole pigskin around the gridiron begins to increase exponentially. It is quite literally one of the highlights of my year. The chilly temps, the smell of burning leaves, the taste of spicy chili with an ice-cold beverage, topped off with my football Buckeyes driving on down the field; now that’s my happy place. Well, as it would seem, 2020 appears to be toying with my expectations as a cat bobbles around a ball of yarn. The uncertainty of if and how and when there’ll be a college football season leaves me in a day by day wrestling match with my sanity. Okay, maybe that’s a little overstated. (Maybe not though)
Recently I was recalling some memories in my highlight reel during my own illustrious football career. (Cough-cough) I started playing biddy football early on and although I grew in age, I never really grew much in stature. Yeah, following in my dad’s footsteps as a lineman was a tall order for such a small player. As the smallest guard in the history of the league, I like to think I held my own pretty well though. One vivid memory popped into mind. It was during two-a-days of my senior year, and it was H.O.T. HOT! Coach Schaffner called out a play in which I would pull back from the line and head towards the outside to lead the tailback around the end. With my mind melting in the heat, I went the wrong way. Whoopsie. “Run it again, the other side!” he yelled out. All I heard was “Run it again!” So, yeah, I went the opposite way of the play call . . . which again was the wrong way. “Again! Do it again!” I’d like to say that on the third try I pulled around, made a touchdown breaking tackle and as the running back tip-toed into the end zone untouched, my fellow teammates hoisted me into the air in celebration. Yeah, I’d like to say that, but I’d be lying. I totally blew it. I’m not sure what I heard and what I did wrong, but I totally flubbed it. “Price! You’re out! Go run laps until you can figure out where you left your brain!”
Sometimes I feel like that’s the pattern of my life. Messing up, trying again, falling short, getting back up and trying again. Over and over it seems to go, and back again I go to God to ask for forgiveness. I can’t help but wonder, does He ever think, “Oh great, here he comes again with the same old list of issues,” as He reluctantly extends just one more measure of forgiveness. And each time, He gently reminds me that He is, in fact, thrilled to see me and that His mercies are new every morning (Lam 3:22-23) I’ve come to find great comfort in knowing that His forgiveness is complete and perfect because of the sacrificial death and resurrection of His Son Jesus. He literally chooses to remember our sins no more. (Heb. 8:12) Wow! Thank God, literally, for His infinite patience and grace for such a work in progress like me.
~ Pastor Mitch