Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dead Man's Crawl -- Hope Chronicles 17

I am not a football fan. I’ve watched exactly one Super Bowl in my life. I don’t understand the rules. I can’t imagine who would come up with a game where the object seems to be to clobber the guy with the ball. (If the guy is already down, it seems that everyone dog piles on him for good measure.) If I played, I think I’d treat that ball like a hot potato and pass if off as quickly as I got it. (Of course, that is assuming that I had enough skill to catch the thing!)

I made it to one game when I was in high school. I can’t recall what possessed me to go. But, I’ll admit, I got caught up in the school euphoria when we beat the reigning champs and in a show of solidarity, I bought a “We beat Moeller” T-shirt. (I think I passed on the “We beat Moeller again!” shirts the following year.)

I have watched a couple of football movies. In these, it seems it is enough to know from the reaction of the fans, coaches, and players, who won or lost. I can usually follow that. One movie that I watched for the first time a year ago and the second time last month is Facing the Giants.

Here’s the gist in a sentence: True story of losing high school team that takes on the state champions – aptly named “The Giants.” Of course, the real story is about how they get to the state championship.

One scene strikes me. The coach is talking to the players and one of the “leaders” is being rather cocky. The coach calls him out and challenges him to be a leader. He asks him how far he thinks he can do the “Dead Man” crawl. (Hands and feet carrying another player on his back.) The player announces he can go to the 30-yard line. The coach, of course, wants to see him do it but then decides to have him do it blind folded.

So, off they go. The coach cheering him on – “Give me all you’ve got!” The player eventually starts saying, “How far? Am I there yet? I can’t go any further.” The coach just keeps at him. “Don’t you stop on me. Give me all you’ve got!” When the coach finally lets him stop, he takes off the blind fold to discover that he is in the end zone and has done the Dead Man’s crawl down the entire field.

It’s a great picture of going – pushing – beyond our limits. Too often, we make a goal and say that we will give it all we’ve got. Maybe we make it to that goal, but what God knows it that we haven’t given it our all yet – there’s still more in us. He wants every last drop put into our relationship with him. He will not settle for half our efforts, half our hearts. He is a jealous God who wants our whole hearts.

Hope is letting go of what we think we can do in favor of doing what God knows we can do. If that isn’t enough, it is bringing others along with us. When they can’t walk anymore, we pick them up. When we can’t walk anymore, we do the dead man’s crawl all the way to the end zone. Hope is in the fact that Jesus – the ultimate coach – is with us every step, every excruciating inch, of the way.


Laura said...

Nicely written and good challenge to think about.
I grew up in a football family and married one, gave birth to one and all my girls love it too. Thankfully I also enjoy it! Have a great day!

Elizabeth said...

I have never commented on your blog before but I love it and read it daily. I found it from comment you left on Lysa TerKeurst's blog. So enough about how I really dont know you at all and on the the real comment. I have been doing the dead man's crawl the past few days through my life and I hate it. I have had my "Ok God" moment. And I have read your page and always get such inspiration through someone else's ideas about hope. I dont know how much sense this makes but thank you for writing about your experiences in an interesting and uplifting way.
Have a wonderful day!!

Amy L Brooke said...

Elizabeth --

Thank you so much for the comment. I hope you find this. I looked for a way to contact you back, but couldn't find one.

You'll never know what your comment means to me. It has been a really rough week, so you words were a great source of hope for me. Sometimes in my life I feel as if I live in a vaccuum or black hole. I don't know how to explain it. But to know that you read daily and get something from it . . . . I can't explain better what it means.

Thank you. I am saying a prayer for you as you go through this tough time. Jesus is right by your side!

Elizabeth said...

I didn't realize my blog name did not show up when you looked at my profile. I have fixed the problem. Sorry about that.
And also I of course found this comment. You left such good directions to it and I read it daily so I saw it.
I think it has been a rough week for a lot of people but as it comes to a close I still have no idea what I am doing with my life, I don't even know what I am doing in the next few hours. But I know that in God's time I will learn what I am supposed to do.
I encourage you to keep posting even though sometimes it is hard to admit things.
Have a wonderful weekend!!