Sunday, September 6, 2015
Dashed Dream and Fresh Hope
"God is doing something good through everything that happens in the lives of the faithful.
If it seems slow, don't panic. You will see! In whatever meantime this is for you,
trust Him. He has something better than you could ever imagine. Trust Him!"
Habakkuk and Paul
We were sledding in the front yard.
He was a very little boy having a great time with his dad.
Football wasn't yet in his vocabulary.
Up and down.
Over and over and over again.
Then he screamed with the kinda uninhibited joy that Jesus relished so much in children, "I don't ever want to stop doing this!"
I wish I could reincarnate that moment right now; just as I asked God to take my life on Saturday shortly after 1:10 p.m. in exchange for reversing His call and...
But as I watched and heard my son writhing in pain after the second play of Coe's first possession in the first game of the year and last of his life, I knew...
He never wanted to stop playing football.
His first play was as a third grader covering the opening kickoff.
I could see the fright as well as determination in his eyes as he made the tackle.
His last play was as a senior captain of the Kohawks.
I could see the determination and then dashed dream after his block sprung a teammate for a healthy gain.
Lying on the cold rack in the emergency room, he was as determined as ever; declaring he would suit up for the next game.
No next game for him.
As I walked to my son on the sideline, already lamenting his dashed dream and praying fresh hope, I thanked God that he started and finished well.
Yeah, I prayed a miracle.
"Lord, you know how much he loves You and never backs off from heralding You and urging others to trust You and...and...and wouldn't this be a great opportunity to...?"
As an athlete who never accomplished anything compared to any of my sons, with a determination for excellence dwarfed by this one, my lower lip quivered as, finally, he said softly, "All I ever wanted to do from third grade was play football."
With dashed dream, he turned to the prophet and apostle for fresh hope.
Awaiting fresh hope for him, his dashed dream flashes before me.
I see that first tackle.
I see him absorbing all of those Pitt games.
I see his face beaming as the gold medal hung around his neck for that undefeated junior tackle team.
He was a tough offensive tackle and brutal middle linebacker whose interception in the closing seconds sealed the victory.
I see his resignation to "doing whatever the team needs" and starting on the line as a junior and senior for the Bucs; and playing his entire senior year with a broken foot.
I see his hope as Coe's recruiter wonders why he wasn't...
I see the transformation from a scrawny high school six-footer of less than 160 pounds on the line to a chiseled 6'3" 220 pound tight end with blazing speed whose coaches say can play with anyone and just may surprise everyone at the next level.
For the past two weeks as he prepped for what coaches and teammates said would be a great year for the team and fulfillment of dreams for him, I said on several occasions, "Son, you have nothing to prove to anyone anymore. You proved it last year. Your coaches say your ceiling is high. You've become a great team leader and captain. All of your dreams are coming true. But no matter what happens from now on, you have nothing else to prove. Everyone knows now that you can do it. You've worked so hard to get to this point. I am so proud of you. Now, with nothing else to prove, just go out, enjoy yourself, be the great teammate that you are, and thank God for everything."
While I'm glad for God's prompting to say that before Saturday as truth rather than consolation after 1:10 p.m. on September 5, I pray fresh hope articulates to overcome the dashed dream.
Fortunately, it will not be a solo flight.
With uninhibited joy, Daniel exclaimed, "I don't ever want to stop doing this!"
Some things stop before others begin.
That's how God does things.
For my son, it means...
Blessings and Love!