Home » Words from the Heart » Wrong Way!!! Wrong Way!!!

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My oldest was begging to play soccer this spring, but I couldn’t find a spring soccer team that worked with the schedules of the rest of the family. I convinced the little guy to give football a chance, and signed him up with a local organization. We had participated with them before, and I expected it to be the same. You know, a lot of five and six year olds running around in organized chaos for the first few weeks. Knowing though that as the weeks passed, a resemblance of the game would emerge.

Our first football practice was quite a shock for all of us. My little guy, who met the age requirement of five by only a few weeks, was playing with third graders. He looked so small next to these huge third graders, and the coach was yelling things like, “Defense, let’s switch it up. You are now on offense.” Needless to say my little guy spent most of the first practices and games in utter confusion.

My little guy is number 11. Love how he is literally half the size of the teammate next to him!!!

My little guy is number 11. Love how he is literally half the size of the teammate next to him!!!

We often had to talk about why he didn’t get the ball during the game, or why he wasn’t able to catch that third grader and relieve him of his flag. Yet through his disappointments of not being able to keep up with the older boys, he looks forward to his practice and game each week.

Last Tuesday night, we were having a make-up game. Everything was about the same. Our little guy was staying in his position, and doing his best to chase down the guy with the football.

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I seriously think that if he caught his teammate with the football, he would take his flag….they do it in practice, so why not in a game???

Anyway, I was playing with my other two boys when all of a sudden I heard our coach start yelling, “Wrong Way!! Wrong Way!!!” As I looked up, I see this little boy taking off across the field with the football under his arm and a herd of giants chasing after him.

Yes, my little boy finally had the football and was quickly heading towards his opponents goal. My son was heading the wrong way.

Somehow in all the commotion he understood what his coach was telling him, and I watched in wonder as he made a wide U-Turn and took off in the right direction. His coach was going crazy. He was shouting encouragements, and one large teammate began running beside him doing his best to protect him. His little legs were pumping as he ran about 10 yards toward his goal before the long legs of the opposing team overtook him and grabbed his flag.

The coach was next to him in a heart beat. Helping him off the ground. Putting his flag back in. Above all, praising the effort of the smallest little guy on his team.

My heart swelled with love for my little guy. He had his chance with the football, and he had given it everything he had. Yes, he had taken off in the wrong direction, but he had listened. He had not only heard what the coach was saying, but he had responded. He made his U-Turn. Then with his legs moving as fast as they could go, he had actually progressed down the field despite the enormous obstacles that surrounded him. I couldn’t have been more proud!!!

Later as I was thinking back over that night, I couldn’t help begin to compare this special moment in my son’s life to our spiritual lives.

How often is our Coach, the Holy Spirit, yelling, “Wrong Way!! Wrong Way!!” With all the noise in our lives, and all the large challenges of life pressing down on us and threatening to overtake us, we don’t hear him. We continue in the wrong direction maybe aware or maybe not, that we need to make a U-Turn.

What would it look like if we did make that U-Turn though?

What would happen if despite all the noise and giants chasing us down we made a large, looping turn to head toward the right goal?

What if we dropped that bad attitude? The anger? The hurtful words? Ungratefulness? Pride? Or any other sin that has entrapped us? What if we decided with the help of the Holy Spirit that we will make that U-Turn?

Would our Coach be as thrilled? Would He be cheering us on? Would our great cloud of witnesses be celebrating??

Of course they would!!

Yes, we may stumble again. We probably will fall and have our flag snatched away from us.

But guess what?? Our Coach is going to be right beside us to pick us up, put the flag back in, and cheer us on.

Let’s start making our U-Turns today, and begin pressing toward the goal to win the prize that our God offers through Christ Jesus.

Let’s be able to say like Paul did… “It’s not that I’ve already reached the goal or have already completed the course. But I run to win that which Jesus Christ has already won for me. Brothers and sisters, I can’t consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don’t look back, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God’s heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus.” (Philippines 3:12 – 14)

You’ve Got This, but only through the Holy Spirit.

Prayer time!!

Prayer time!!