Texas Friday Nights

Posted by on Sep 17, 2010 in News

It is a September Friday in Texas. To many this means football. Many people will experience a starry night tonight filled with the sounds of cheers and the smell of fresh cut grass and cooking hotdogs as they gather to cheer on their teams. I’m a fan of this tradition and would like to share my experience and outlook on the game.

The Spirit of Friendly Competition

The Spirit of Friendly Competition

I grew up in a small town with a Class A school. We barely had enough kids to make a football team, which meant everyone played and on both sides of the ball for all four quarters. That was over twenty-years ago for me and now my son is experiencing it himself. I can’t even begin to explain all of the life-lessons that were gained on the football field in those short few years but I want to point out the most important ones.

  • Through this experience I learned how to win with honor and humility, how to lose with strength and dignity, and how to actually exercise the concept of loving those who oppose me.
  • I learned what it meant to work together as a team; to operate as a single unit without concern for individual glory.
  • I learned what it meant to “have each other’s back”; to put my trust solely in the hands of others and to fight through pain and exhaustion because someone else was putting their trust in me.
  • I learned success is not an entitlement; it sometimes comes at a high cost and sometimes it doesn’t come at all, no matter how hard I worked or felt I deserved it.
  • I learned when I criticized a teammate, it hurt our cause, but when I encouraged him when he failed, it lifted him back into the game.
  • I learned I could smile while being hurt.
  • I learned I could get up when I got knocked down and I could compliment the one who knocked me down.
  • I learned leadership is about taking responsibility, even when I don’t want it.
  • I learned the strength of my heart is stronger than the strength in my muscles or bones.
  • I learned that arguing over an unfair judgment was fruitless and thus learned to deal with unfairness as just another obstacle in the game.
  • I learned honor and victory are not the same thing.
  • I learned to leave the field knowing I had left everything I had out there regardless of what was left on the scoreboard.
  • I learned hard work has it’s rewards, even if they’re not the rewards we expect.
  • I learned God was showing me how His teachings work if I actually put them into practice and…
  • I learned to thank Him openly for it.
  • Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; - Ephesians 5:20

    Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; - Ep5:20

    In essence, it was a training ground for real life experiences I would face later on. I just didn’t know it. There are only a few times in the life of an average American when these type of principles and values can actually be practiced in such a physical way. One small window of opportunity for this is on a High School football field, which only comes around once.

    Like any pastime, football can be misrepresented by those who are the loudest. Obsessed fans, overbearing parents, and hothead coaches abound. But remember, for every fan shouting at the ref to open his eyes, there’s a kid on the field who has already accepted the unfair call and is readying himself for the next task at hand. For every demanding parent who criticizes a kid for dropping the ball or missing a block, there’s a teammate who slaps his shoulder-pad and says, “shake it off, we’ll get em on the next play”.

    So if you go watch a football game tonight, encourage the players to be strong for each other and to do their personal best. Winning is nice, but that’s the bonus. The real battle is inside of themselves. Someday, these players will forget tonight’s final score, but if played right, the victory of the heart will last them a lifetime.

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    4 thoughts

    1. David Gaddy

      March 8, 2012

      Thanks Larry! You can use any thing you find here on your wall. Good luck attracting your family 🙂

    2. I was checking to see who was following me. This is amazing material you write. Now if I can somehow post your this on my wall i would have something more to attract the attention of my family and friends. Thanks for your patience and dedication to things of God.

    3. Feel free to use it any way you want, if you think it will have a positive impact.


    4. Michelle

      October 4, 2010

      Hey, Do you mind if I print this off and share it with a kid I know that needs to read it? Let me know. I won’t be publishing it anywhere. Thanks.

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