I highly doubt that I’m the first to make this connection but, it struck me this morning, as I wrapped up my morning devotions and checked the schedule to see what time my University of Washington Huskies would be playing the Colorado Buffaloes this weekend, how much the Christian walk is like football. To some, that statement may sound a bit silly. But, to others, like myself, who has loved the game of football his whole life, it puts a few simple truths into relatable terms.
Football is all about executing plays. In order to do that properly, a football player must start by getting to know the playbook. The player goes to work studying the book full of plays drawn up by his coach. He memorizes them. He practices them. He gets to know that playbook inside and out, backwards and forwards.
For the Christian, that playbook is the Bible, the holy scriptures, the very Word of God. We need to go to work studying, memorizing, and practicing the principles laid out for us by our holy and righteous Creator. We need to learn that book every bit as much as the football player must learn his. After all, it contains the foundations for our victory.
Next, both the football player and the Christian need to know which play is being called. The football player must look to the sidelines and read the signal. The Christian must go to God in prayer. In both cases, allowing the One calling the plays to do the majority of the communicating is a key factor.
The final event that needs to take place before it’s time to execute plays is the huddle. This is where the football player makes sure the team is all on the same page. Otherwise, you could wind up with eleven guys trying to run eleven different plays. Unity is essential for a football team. The same is true for Christians. For us, the huddle is about finding an uncompromising, truth-preaching and truth-practicing church that relentlessly puts God’s ways ahead of popularity and world acceptance, and then plugging into it with zeal and firm commitment.
Once we’ve studied the playbook, received the play call, and had our huddle, we’re ready to run the play. Some plays will be harder than others. Some days we’ll lose yardage. But, the only path to victory is to repeat the process until the end of the game. Even if you’re down thirty-five to nothing at half-time, keep trusting your coach. Go back to that playbook. Receive His call. Get in the huddle. Execute the next play. Who doesn’t love a good comeback story?