Tuesday, August 19, 2014

O Ye Of Little Faith

The college football season is upon us! This year will see the first NCAA college football playoff, much to the delight of the average fan! (Not holding out hope the Huskers will be in the final game!) What follows, though, from January 2, 2007, is about the most exciting bowl game/moment in recent memory.

I missed it. Last night, I was trying to do two things simultaneously. In my folks' bedroom, I was attempting to finish my thoughts for yesterday's entry. In the living room, the Fiesta Bowl was playing, pitting Boise State against Oklahoma. I have to admit, I was solidly for Boise State. They were huge underdogs and considered a pretender against a perennial powerhouse like the Sooners. Plus, I despised Oklahoma, my Nebraska Cornhuskers' biggest rival, as a kid. Boise State jumped off to a big lead but bowl games, with their unending halftime extravaganzas, last an excruciatingly long time. I kept running back and forth, trying to watch and type in short spurts. Late in the fourth quarter, I came out just as OU scored a touchdown and tacked on a two point conversion, knotting the game at 28-28. Boise State, after the kickoff, ran one pass play. The pass was intercepted by a Sooner defensive back and run back for a touchdown. With only one minute left in the contest, the score sealed the win for Oklahoma. Forlornly, I turned off the television and returned to the darkened bedroom, trying to complete my day's entry on the computer while not waking my sleeping parents. (Believe me, it's easier writing at home!) After posting my devotional, I checked e-mail messages and finally, espn.com. Imagine my shock when the headline picture featured Boise State players celebrating a victory. Stunned, I read the story and discovered I had walked away from the conclusion of what prognosticators were calling today, the greatest bowl game in history. With seven seconds to go, Boise State scores a looooooong touchdown on a schoolyard gimmick called the hook-and-ladder play, forcing overtime where each team is given possession of the ball on the opponent's twenty-five yard line. Oklahoma, on their first play of OT ran twenty-five unmolested yards for a TD and added the extra point. Now trailing 42-35, BSU used six plays to score, again on a trick play, a flanker pass. Boise State coach Chris Petersen rolled the dice and elected to go for a two point conversion rather than the almost-automatic one point kick which would have prolonged the overtime. Reaching one last time into football gadgetry, BSU successfully executed the eons old Statue Of Liberty play to seal a mind-boggling 43-42 victory over the shell-shocked Sooners. AND THEN, Ian Johnson, who just scored the winning points for Boise State, proposed to his girlfriend, BSU cheerleader Chrissy Popadics in front of a national TV audience....and she said YES! And I missed the whole thing because I gave up, believing the game was over.

How often do we walk away prematurely? I know a football game is not life-or-death but look what I missed by not finishing what I started. I could have lasted another couple of minutes and my blog wasn't going anywhere. Still, I mentally weighed the odds of Boise State coming back in the final sixty ticks of the clock and retreated to the computer screen. Today, I have watched countless replays on television and the Internet but I would have given anything to have seen the plays before they were replays. Football and faith have little in common beside their first initial but like my lack of confidence in BSU, I am convinced believers often lack faith in their faith. The Bible is filled with teachings and stories of how God's schedule is located in a different time zone from ours. Maybe, in the guise of being realistic, we give up too easily. Abraham hung tough when the Lord's promises seemed to have been derailed. Moses and David had careers that seemed short-circuited but they believed and so endured. Last night, even though I quit, one football team refused to and look at the results. Boise State won the biggest game in the history of the their university and Ian Johnson is getting married. Not a bad evening!

Applicable quote of the day:
"We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible."
Vince Lombardi/ Green Bay Packers

To watch Ian's proposal, click below:

God bless,
Luke 18:1

me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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