Recently, I visited a local church with my sister. During the sermon, the pastor, who is a former professional football player, recalled a time he fumbled the football during a critical moment of the game. After the fumble, he felt defeated knowing he let his teammates and coach down.
To his surprise, as he walked to the sidelines, his coach greeted him with words of encouragement. He said, “Forget about the fumble. If you keep thinking about the fumble, you will fumble again. There will be many more opportunities for you to make a play, so don’t get stuck in the moment.”
His message made me think of how we sometimes “fumble the ball,” or fall short of God’s calling for our lives. The mistake many of us make is that we allow that one moment, one failure, or one fumble to dictate the rest of our life. Sadly, people will also define us by that one moment or failure as well.
I thank God that He is not like people. He is faithful to forgive us when we fall short, and just like that coach, God will put us back in the game. He will give us many more opportunities to get it right and allow our life to shine as a source of hope, inspiration, and a light to others.
Recently, a Kenyan female runner, Hyvon Ngetich, made headlines during an Austin marathon. She led the race for most of the day, however in the last 450 feet of the 26 miles; her legs gave out on her. She refused to get in the wheelchair the officials brought to her side. Instead, she crawled the last 450 feet finishing ten minutes behind the first place runner, and three seconds behind the second place runner.
She “fumbled” and fell, but she did not stay stuck in the moment. When she fell to her knees, she could have easily laid there, cried and never finished the race. She is a prime example of the saying, “The race is not given to the swift, nor the strong, but to he who endures to the end.”
Days after the race, people speak of her more than they do the actual winner. As Christians, we can reach more people by staying in the game, than we can sitting on the sidelines sulking about what went wrong and how we failed. Our falling down, getting back up AND staying up will serve as hope to someone that they can do it too, and that they do not have to become a product of that one failure.
If you “fumbled” or messed up, I encourage you to go to God, repent with a sincere heart, turn away from the sin, get up, and no matter what, stay in the game. It is not always about how great you start, but how you finish the race.
Always remember, “The end of a thing is better than its beginning.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8 NKJV)
Image Credit: Image found here and modified with words by Keishawna