Friday Night Lights
Friday nights in Alabama during this time of the year are good for only one thing - High School Football. Though I personally do not understand a thing about the sport, I love wrapping up in a warm blanket on a cool night and yacking it up with all my football widow friends whose husbands find it necessary to hang on the fence and discuss each play as it's being made.
Our boys have not had the best record in the last couple of years. You could say we are a small school with very few players so it is difficult to go head-to-head with teams double in size. Even though the crowds continued to come to the games, there was bad mojo. People were more ready to boo than cheer, more ready to criticize than praise. If I sensed that being a new member of the community, I know the players and coaches did.
This year, for lack of a better explanation, I believe God means to do a work among the kids in our High School and I perceive He is beginning with the football team. We have coaches who are not only concerned about winning ballgames but are determined to build character in this group of young men. We have fathers who are working themselves to death to create a top-notch field and club house. We have moms who tirelessly serve nachos and barbecue at every single home game. We have a community who is coming together to say, 'no more bad mojo - you kids are more important than the scoreboard'.
This past Friday night, something happened that can only be explained as a subtle paradigm shift. There was a lighter atmosphere in the stands, a different buzz among the crowd, a fresh spirit among the players. It was one of those times where everything was the same, but everything was different. And our boys? They played their hearts out! I've never seen them so pumped or the crowd so energized. Football is the most confusing sport to me and yet and I found myself biting my jaws to keep back the tears when our boys scored or got excited over a great play. All I can say to you is that there was a great coming together that night that has set a different tone for this season.
Which is why we were so devastated when we were beaten in the last seconds of the game - over a technicality which made no sense to me whatsoever. But, in a scene worthy of any great movie, our teary-eyed boys raised their helmets to the alma mater and stood proud as the music played. What I pray they know is that the town stood and cried with them.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25:
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."These guys may have been behind on the scoreboard but what is being built in them will last forever. Boys, you give Friday Night Lights a whole new meaning....You shine brightly and my family is looking so forward to God revealing exactly what He is up to in your midst. Coaches, the investment you are making into these young lives is imperishable. I pray you sense what I do - that something is happening - and it is beginning with you.
I would love to see you at my personal blog, The Preacher's Wife.