I often cringe when I see an athlete make a mistake that is costly to his team…maybe “snatching defeat from victory”. You may remember Scott Norwood of the Buffalo Bills missing the last second field goal in Super Bowl XXV against the Giants in 1991; it had to be the low point of his football career. It’s difficult to not allow the “low moments” to define us…to cause us to spiral downward, and never recover.
Many have said, “don’t let the highs get too high, or the lows get too low”. We all have our high points and we certainly have our low points. …. the athlete, the parent, the general, the doctor, the teacher…. we all have them. Even the saints had their low points… think about David, Moses, Abraham, Peter, Paul, Augustine….. and what about you and me?
When we fail, there is pressure to become discouraged and maybe even despair. The devil is often there to advise us “to quit… you’re a bum… you’ve never been any good… bla,bla,bla”.
On the contrary, the Holy Spirit is always there to encourage us …. “ get up, dust yourself off, have a drink of water, let’s move on to the next moment.” The Holy Spirit, our teacher, our advocate, our friend, is there to get us ready for the next moment. He is there to show us how to learn from the “low moment”, how to get stronger, smarter, holier. We may be discouraged, but he’s not.
I love the passage from Hebrew 4, where we hear that Jesus is able to sympathize with our weakness (our low points and failures), having been tempted like us (but without sin), and is ready to show us mercy, grace, and help in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16) He’s always there to work our low points to the good.
So, let’s not get too high when we hit the occasional homerun, and not too low when we strike out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will end at the HIGHEST POINT of our life….. this is very good news.
A final note on Scott Norwood:
At the end of the game, “Norwood stood at his locker for nearly an hour, answering question after question after question about the worst moment of his career. His classy response to adversity resonated with coaches, teachers and athletes across America. That offseason Norwood received thousands of letters and cards, mostly from total strangers, lauding him for his grace, and encouraging him to soldier on.”