After lifting this afternoon, I dropped by our WCS West Campus and watched our middle school football team play for roughly a quarter and a half. I'm pretty sure we didn't win- I left with time remaining and we were down three touchdowns- but not winning doesn't mean we lost. Our junior Wildcats were outmanned if that's the proper term for 6-7-8th grade boys. Let me put it in perspective. The school we played had fifteen- 15!- cheerleaders and we only have twelve young men on our squad. Only one sub. Everybody plays both ways on offense and defense and on punt teams....and kickoffs...and kickoff return. I should also mention the temperature was mid 90s and the humidity off the charts. Kenneth Okwuonu does a masterful job coaching these kids up. They fought tooth and nail against much bigger, and also well-coached kids, and held their own. Several of our players are in my 8th grade Bible class- I feel like I should give them some bonus points on the test we took today!
As usually happens, there was a favorite moment for me. Our high school team, which opens their season in three days, was practicing on the adjacent field on our facility. The Wildcats, led by new coach Mark Krimm, finished their workout and moved over to watch their little brothers compete. But they didn't just watch. They cheered. The encouraged. They moved on the sidelines as the ball spot shifted. There was a change in the atmosphere when the big kids showed up. That's how it should be at a school like ours. The big kids- they've been through these junior high battles and survived. The younger kids need to know.
We need to know that in life, too, even as adults. Others have made it. Others survived the same difficulties we encounter every day. Not just money matters or health issues or relationship problems- spiritual matters, too. One of the best known New Testament verses, Hebrews 12:1, phrases it in the context of a roster full of saints:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.....
We aren't alone- we're surrounded! And not just by the evil which rears its ugly head, but by the memory and example of heroes of faith and martyrs. We might seem outnumbered, like our football kids this afternoon, but we're not. In 2nd Kings 6:16, the prophet Elisha spoke the greatest scouting report ever to his servant who feared the surrounding Syrian army:
"Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
In God's protection, we are never outnumbered no matter how it appears. I like those odds, even if we are an underdog to the untrained eyes of the world. The final score isn't final.
Applicable quote of the day:
"People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society."
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