I have never been a very athletic person. I was on the soccer team in high school, but in all the time I was on the team we never won a game! Of course, that wasn’t ALL my fault. Let’s just say I was not the only one on the team that did not excel in sports. But at least I can say that I lettered in a high school sport … sort of.
So imagine my surprise some years ago when my two sons decided to join the high school football team. Neither of them had ever played football before, so they had a steep learning curve those first few weeks. I admit, I was a bit concerned about whether they could do it, given my own lack of athletic ability. But both of them developed quite a knack for football, and both eventually served as captains of the team.
Though I didn’t understand most of the game, I went to watch them play each week. Even for a non-football fan like myself, when one of my sons would catch the ball and take off like a lightning bolt, it was a thrilling moment. I’m not much of a shouter, but when one of my boys was running the ball down the field, suddenly I was on my feet cheering with hundreds of other parents. Can you image what it was like for my sons to hear all those people, most of whom were strangers, cheering their names and shouting encouragement to them?
The entire experience reminds me of Hebrews 12:1 “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.” (HCS)
If one of my sons caught that ball, nothing was going to stop him from crossing the goal line. Everyone was cheering him on and sharing in his excitement. The Christian life is much like that. All the saints cheer us on and encourage us not to quit until we cross the goal line. Can you hear them cheering? Can you see the goal in sight? Don’t drop the ball, run it right into the end zone for Jesus.
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett serves as the executive director of the Baptist Convention of New England.