taking the tackle

Last night I watched my son practicing football. It was the A team against most of the C team.
It was him and this other guy much larger than him, face to face. I wondered what was going through his head as he squatted down and looked into the face of this other player. This guy is on his team, he is “supposed” to be easy on him. But it was a practice scrimmage and this kid was going to give it his all.

The first time the whistle blows, my son takes a good hit from the guy and he ends up on his back.
The second time the whistle blows, my son takes off. He knows the football is running behind him, so he jumps up and runs behind him as far away as he can from the tackle.

Not being vulnerable.
He knew what was coming and he took off.

It hit me, that this is what I do all the time. I know the blows are going to come. And most of the time I know the game. My son knows most of the rules of football and he knew that ball was behind him. He knew that if he got up and ran behind him he was going to avoid the hit, but he was at least going to look like he was in the game.

I want to look like I am in the game…but I want to avoid the hit.
I want to be part of the team, without getting hurt.
I’m not going to run into the guy in front of me.
I’m not going to tackle, because to tackle is to take a risk.
The risk that I’m going to get bruised or hurt.
But in football, the harder you hit the guy in front of you, the less it is gonna hurt you.

When I’m constantly chasing what’s behind me; when I am refusing to take the risk and look forward to follow where the Lord leads, often times the pain and frustration is greater. I’ve got to take the risk and move forward…no matter what’s in front of me.

It could be this guy that is way bigger than I am. But I’ve got to open myself up to it.

As my son struggles with being on the C team, we keep reminding him that as long as he keeps running away from the tackle, he’s not going to move up. He has to get in there. He has to open himself up to whatever might happen…and trust that the coaches are watching and teaching all of those boys well. Maybe he will get hit “illegally” and maybe he won’t.

But change doesn’t happen without movement.

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