Monday 17th February 2020 Devotion
Scripture:- Genesis 40:1-23
Topic:- Patient And Perseverance 
Text:- Genesis 40:14
One of the hardest-to-swallow, most counter cultural, counter intuitive implications of the gospel is that bearing up under a difficult burden with patient perseverance is a good thing. And Lo, the Kingdom of God is Like a Terrible Football Team
My son is like me. He’s not much into athletics. But we signed him up for a flag-football league when he was in sixth grade.
My wife told me the league needed someone to coach my son’s team, the Rams, and I told her, point-blank, I would not be doing it. I know nothing about coaching football. Nothing. “I will not be coaching the Rams,” I said.
The park district called me before the first practice and told me about the Rams, and how they needed a coach, and would I do it? I told them no. “I’m sorry; I just can’t do that; it’s out of the question. I will not be coaching the Rams.”
I dropped Justice off at practice, and all the teams went to different parts of the practice fields. They all had coaches. The Rams assembled, and everyone’s parents had dropped them off, and I towered over all the kids. They asked me if I was their coach. I told them no. “I’m sorry, I will play catch right now, but I will not be coaching the Rams.”
The smallest kid, a little scraggly-blonde kid named Jared, threw the ball back and forth with me. He asked me again if I would coach. I told him, again, no. They’d have to find someone else to coach the Rams. He caught the ball, stopped, and looked at me. He said, “Okay, but for today, can I please call you ‘Coach’?”
When I got home, I had to tell my wife why I was carrying a big bag of footballs, pylons, and flags. I was now coaching the Rams.
I was clueless. Over the first eight games, we not only didn’t win; we didn’t score any points. We were shut out, every game. I loved the kids, but I just didn’t know what I was doing.
We’d all look over during our practices and see the Yellow Shirt Team Over There, the team that had six football dads, coaching positions, fancy drills, and football-y things I didn’t know about. They were amazing, a well-oiled machine. I feared playing them.
We stunk. I think we hit rock bottom when we were penalized for wearing illegal shorts. (Apparently, you can’t wear shorts with pockets in flag football.) To avoid forfeiture, I sent my team into the crowd of parents to randomly ask people if they could swap shorts with them. That was a low point.
And we played that team, the Yellow Shirt Team Over There, the one with the dads with visors and whistles and multiple future NCAA recruits, the very last game of the season.
We were 0-11. They were 11-0. Sounds like we had no chance, right? Sounds like there’s no way in the world we could possibly beat these guys, right? They laughed at us before the game.
Something incredible happened. Our best player, a little guy named Christian, returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. We were ahead 6-0!
So the team that supposedly “didn’t have a chance,” the one that was mocked, derided, considered the worst-coached team in the league, now led the game over the mighty Yellow Team! There were gasps from the crowd. Could the impossible happen? This could be like the 1980 hockey upset, the “Miracle on Ice,” all over again. Unbelievable.
I patrolled the sidelines, proudly announcing our intent to go for two! And then we missed that, and then they scored 77 unanswered points, and we lost 77-6.
So, yeah, it’s not really that great of a story. Except for one thing. As our dejected, winless kids left the field, the kids who went 0-12 and just got humiliated again, something wonderful happened, something you usually don’t see in football.
A white stretch limousine pulled up along the field, a limo with flags. Rams flags. Everyone stopped and stared. The Rams, the playoff-bound Yellow Team, everybody. And a mom said, “Guys, it’s time for your end-of-season party!”
The Rams went from dejected losers to royalty. Just like that. They were smiling and laughing and jumping up and down. They all piled into the limo, and off they went for our big pizza-and-swim party.
Prayer Point:- Oh Lord God, help me to be patient and persevered in my daily walking with You henceforth by fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Have A Lovely Monday!