Boy, he’s really on his game! When someone is on their game, they’re playing their best…. every shot seem to go in, every pass is perfect, …. wow, great game. When you see highlight reels of great players, all the greatest plays patched together… they seem incredible. But highlight reels are not the full story. You could also put together the “lowlight” reel of missed shots, bad passes, clunkers. Michael Jordon missed half of his shots over his incredible career. The greatest baseball players of all time made an out “7 out of 10 times” …. yet they batted .300, the measure of greatness.
In the statistics of life we each have our “highlight reel” and our “lowlight reel”. Catch us on the right day, in the right moment and you’re looking at a saint… an allstar, a .300 hitter… on the wrong day, a very flawed sinner, a klutz, a scrub.
It’s the same with the saints. Catch St. Peter on his good days and you have maybe the greatest saint of all time … the Lord’s right hand man, leader of the church, healer, teacher, martyr…. Wow ! Catch Peter on the wrong day and you have a very flawed individual, often saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Remember that Peter was interrupted by all three members of the Holy Trinity. (check it out… Jesus telling him ”Get behind me Satan (Mt. 16:23). The Father cutting him off at the Transfiguration when he’s presenting his construction plans (Lk.9:35), and the Holy Spirit when Peter’s preaching to Cornelius, (Acts. 10:44). And we all know about his denials of Jesus.
What is it about us that one day we look like an all star and the next moment like a loser ? Well, we are sinners and our frame is weak. At the same time, we are hopefully growing in holiness and getting stronger in our faith. On some days our faith is stronger than our fear…on other days it seems the opposite and we give into our fear. Somedays our virtues win out and other days our weaknesses win. Hmmmmm.
The key to any great athlete and to any great saint is to never quit. When you have a bad day and get knocked down, you must get up. The same is true for you and me. When we have a day of “lowlights”, we need to get up , dust ourselves off, and ask the Holy Spirit to help us move forward. For us it often involves repentance…asking forgiveness, taking some extra prayer, getting advice from trusted friends. As we continue to place ourselves before the mercy of the Lord and receive his healing and forgiveness and grace, we will get stronger… we will have more good days filled with blessings.
One day we will stand before the Lord at judgement. At that time, I hope our lowlight reel will have disappeared along with our past forgiven sins. However may our highlight reel remain, filled with our love of God and neighbor, with our acts of kindness and joy and courage and love. And may it also show the times we didn’t quit, the times we got up after we fell, with our wonderful Lord Jesus at our side helping us… helping us to not quit.
On that day, may we be welcomed home with the great words of “well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master.”(Mt. 25:23)