Both sides of the ball

Photo tweeted by Jordon Smith of OSU Athletics. Title: “Battle Helmet”

I am not the biggest professional football fan in the world. But I do like college ball in general and the Oklahoma State Cowboys in particular. My husband is an OSU grad and the cutest little cowboy you ever did see. (Sorry, I digress.) This year the OSU gentlemen fought their way to a bowl game against all odds – completely uphill with injuries and scoffers all round. Still they were there, and they came to play.

In the first quarter, the coach chose a 300-pound, senior defensive tackle named Castleman to play offensive running back. What? A guy who usually defends the end zone with his size and strength was asked to be agile enough to step up, for the first time on offense, and run the ball toward the goal? What was the coach thinking? Well, friends Mr. Castleman ran that ball. And he ran it in for a touchdown. Yes, he did.

At halftime, a reporter asked the coach about his strategies, and the coach said he believes in training guys on both sides of the ball. Seriously folks if you think about it, a player could become more versatile, thereby being more valuable to the team and the overall plan, right?

For the second half, someone should have taken the name “Castleman” off of #91’s jersey and replaced it with “Mr. Versatility,” because he wasn’t done answering the coach’s call, surprising the poor opponents, and delighting the crowd. In the fourth quarter, Mr. Castleman took the assignment of tight end, ran ahead of the line of scrimmage, and caught a pass that set his team up for assured victory.

As I reflected on the coach’s words over the next few days, as well as the response of the willing Castleman, I saw a definite parallel between this earthly example and God’s great commission in my life. This has come to be a comfort, especially in the last few days/weeks.

You see, here’s the deal friends. If I insist that I am only going to do certain work in the kingdom, a certain way and on my timeline, I miss the whole picture. God has a job for me today, tomorrow, and every day I still inhabit this human temple. Sometimes He asks me to step into a role that I believe is beyond my abilities, outside my comfort zone, or just plain what “I” do not want to do. Perhaps this does not resonate with anyone else. How lucky you are.

Now, here’s my choice. I can get up each day with my agenda, make my plans, and tell God how I am going to do my day. Or, I can say, “Put me in Coach. Let’s go.” Then I wait to see what side of the ball he calls me to play on.

I am right in saying things might be beyond my ability, but they are never beyond His. It is accurate to assess situations as outside my comfort zone. Comfort is highly overrated and sometimes terribly unproductive. A case can be made for, “I don’t want to do that.” This is especially true because I am older and have paid many dues, right? This is MY time, huh? I want the desires of my heart. I learned a long time ago that if I let go of myself, I can find that God changes the desires of my heart to meet up with His. Wow – win/win.

How about you today? Is it time for you to learn to submit to the Coach? Are you ready to step into the battle when called and play on whatever side of the ball He assigns? I am. Let’s go.

Copyright January 2015
Laura L. Padgett
Lakewood, CO

Follow me on Twitter @lauraleepadgett
or check out my first book “Dolores, Like the River” available from Westbow Press, Amazon, Family Christian, Barnes and Noble

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