Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Imitating life!

They say that art imitates life! If that's true, then I've seen a fair amount of great 'artwork' lately, much of it on the football field. Since my son's football recruiting took off on an entirely unexpected plane (pun intended), I've found loads of amazing spiritual life lessons from the 'art' of football. At the beginning of spring practice Demi decided he wanted to wear Jersey #9 for his senior year (admittedly a strange number for a defensive end, but... oh well!) Any way, when the jerseys came in he discovered that his was a medium (if you know my son you'll be laughing hysterically about now). He managed to squeeze into it for a photo shoot with the Orlando Sentinel, but decided that it was way too tight for him to be comfortable playing in it. Let me digress for a moment and tell you that he had surgery on the 'pinkie' finger on his left hand a few weeks ago, because he'd had an accident while going one-on-one with their biggest offensive line-man during practice.


For those of you who don't want the gory details, skip to the next paragraph. The tendon came off the knuckle joint, some of the ligaments were torn and a piece of tendon was wedged between the two knuckle bones. In order to fix it the doctor had to 'slice' open his finger, move the tendon out from between the bones, fix the tendon and the ligaments, realign the bones properly and then suture the opening. Like all typical football players, Demi wanted to be back on the field the next day. However, wisdom, the doctor, and threats from yours truly about him missing his entire season, prevailed, and he had to lay off practice for almost two weeks, coming back just in time for the first game of the season which happened to be against the number 7 ranked team in the state of Florida. So here he is on gameday with a soft caste that looks like an oversized boxing glove attached to his appendage, which in turn made his entire arm look like a misplaced club dangling from his body.

Inspite of the 'club' he had an amazing game. He recorded 8-tackles, 4-tackles for loss, 2-sacks (for those of you not up on your football terminology, this is when you knock down the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage), 1-forced fumble, and 1-fumble recovery. He did all of this wearing jersey #44, which apparently belonged to someone else, so every time he made a tackle or a sack, the announcer gave the credit to someone else who wasn't even playing in the game. So what's the life lesson you're wondering? First, the commitment to do whatever it is you have to do even when you're not 100% healthy, knowing that you put your self at greater risk, is an amazing picture of resilience in the face of hardship. Also, and may be even more noteworthy, is the fact that Demi did all that he did anonymously. It is human nature to want to be recognized and sometimes even celebrated for the good things you've done. It's tough to do good things and yet hear someone else get the credit for it. Demi told me he was so 'pumped' to be back on the field hitting people again, he didn't even hear the announcements. Wow! I guess if you're really focused on the task at hand, you don't even pay attention to who gets the credit. All I can say is... another lesson in leading, from my teenage son. You go number 9... I mean number 44!!!

4 comments:

Ash said...

HA HA. This takes me back a little. You see, I cannot recall a single lecture or lesson that my father gave me w/o using a Basketball analogy. It was his expertise and picture for much wisdom...well done. Wink. (how we love the game)

Hope Clark said...

That is hilarious! Nothing like a well timed clothing malfunction to humble us. I can just see Demi now... "What?! Please...that announcer wouldn't know a sack from a forced fumble."

Nike A said...

Okay - so I got goose bumps reading the last paragraph. I could actually picture him making the comment about not hearing the announcements. Definitely food for thought for me, really....
Hugs and blessings as always!!

Joseph said...

We live and learn guys, we live and learn!