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Football Folly
Photo: Brett Meliti
I wanted a football uniform more than anything I had ever wanted before. At the age of ten it was all I could think about. As I watched my favorite football team in action on Sunday afternoons, I imagined myself playing all the positions on the team. I was the quarterback, agile and accurate. I was the running back, flexible and fast. I would play for hours in our back yard with nothing more than a football and my vivid imagination. There was only one item that I needed to make my fantasy a reality; a football uniform, fully equipped with a helmet, shoulder pads, and a numbered jersey.

I had given my request to my parents on numerous occasions, but it seemed a long shot that I would ever have the opportunity to “suit up” and play the game with a reasonable semblance of reality that a uniform could provide. Then one day I was given an option that would test my ability to choose wisely.

Every year on Labor Day a village nearby hosted an all day carnival that I loved to attend. “The Labor Day Fair” was an event the entire town took part in, complete with amusement rides, game booths, and wonderful food creations. To say that I wanted to go would be an understatement!

A Tough Choice

My dad was not nearly as enthusiastic about taking me as I was in attending, and so he gave me an option that still brings a pang of remorseful thoughts of what could have been. I could choose only one option; a fair today, or a football uniform on Friday. It was an agonizing decision for me, but it only took about an hour to come to the conclusion that a good time on Monday would be better than a football uniform on Friday.

I did not have nearly as much fun as I had anticipated and it was over all too soon. On the way home that evening I had time to reflect on the hasty decision I had made.  I felt sick to my stomach to think that I had thrown away such an opportunity. It taught me a lesson in patience, and I have tried to make decisions more carefully since that disappointing day. That lesson in choosing when I was ten reminds me of the options that each one of us must face in life’s journey. The book of Job presents it best.

“The good times of the wicked are short-lived; the godless joy is only momentary” (Job 20:5).

Life doesn’t last long, and we are given the option of a short-lived “good time” here without any real happiness, or a life of peace and contentment for eternity. The choices that we make will determine our destiny. We are challenged by God to give considerable thought to both options and choose wisely.

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By Michael Temple. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the THE MESSAGE/ REMIX ®

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