Most of us can remember when some sports star made a dramatic error…perhaps a fumble or blowing an easy shot…. remember Scott Norwood missing the field goal against the Giants in the Super Bowl, or Bill Buckner letting the ball go thru his legs against the Mets in the World Series, ….. how about the Giant’s last minute loss to the Eagles in 1978 when Herm Edwards ran back a fumble, or Mark Sanchez of the Jets ….
The tendency can be to say the guy is a bum… how in the world could he miss that shot or make that error… I could have done better (as I sit in my big chair, with my big belly, drinking my big beer.) If you tune in at the wrong time on any famous person ….sports, politics, business, or biblical… you will likely see failure.
- “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.” (Michael Jordon)
- Walt Disney was fired by the editor of the Kansas City Star newspaper “for lacking imagination and having no good ideas”…. Really…some editor.
- Failing in business in 1831, suffering a nervous breakdown in 1836, defeated in his run for president in 1856, many of us would have cast Abraham Lincoln into the trash heap of history….. a real loser.
Yet in all these cases, the ones who failed or made the blunder were “in the game”. The reason we know of these people and their examples is that they are people of some great talent and potential and character. Sure they weren’t perfect, but they were great people. They made the cut. Any professional athlete has been a star at every previous level.
It was the feast of St. Peter the other day. It’s seems that every homilist feels the need to point out all of Peter’s failures… he denied Jesus, he was a loud mouth (he was interrupted by each person of the Holy Trinity…look it up)….. yet Peter was an incredible man of great faith and courage and holiness.. the one that Jesus himself selected to lead the early church. He gave his life as a martyr. He was a giant of a man.
No one was perfect except the Lord himself and his holy mother. All the rest of us…saints and sinners have had some bad days.
I think the Lord wants us to “stay in the game” and not be a spectator or a critic. If we are out on the field of play , we are going to make some mistakes…but we also might be able to contribute to the success of our team, of our church, of the human race. We might be in a position to tell others about the Lord and his mercy and his offer of forgiveness to us all. We may not do it perfectly…we may botch it up at times…we may not act perfectly at times, but we’ll be in the game. God wants us in the game. He’s not interested in our Monday morning quarterbacking. And if we listen carefully , we’ll hear some of our flawed heroes cheering us on.