Walk-Ons

I’m not quite the sports fan I was, but I still maintain a healthy interest in the goings on of gridiron, court and field.  I suppose one reason my interest has waned is the continuous news cycle that has made the urgency of missing the game less urgent.  In addition, instant replay has ruined the game for me as much as the contestants.  It’s hard to be spontaneous review after review.  In addition, though I like to cheer as much as the next guy and louder than most, I’m not the sort that wants to fight you over who’s number one.  I have known people to sell their houses to move closer to the stadium, but my personal property is not going to the highest bidder for the sake of the team.

Of interest to me is the occasional story of how a player being overlooked in high school or college and not heavily recruited or highly drafted continued on to a stellar career at the next level.  Just goes to show us that stats and perceptions are not always spot-on.  Such irrelevants remind us to believe in ourselves and that the opinions of others do not determine our destinies.  While sporting events have taught lessons to my soul in many ways, nothing has been more cheering or inspirational than the accomplishments of the long shots.  I know what it’s like to take a chance when you’ve been given no chance.  Those who show up uninvited to the party are called “walk-ons.”

An individual may have success in one arena yet not another.  It seems strange, at once, that one may perform better at higher levels of competition than lower, but it can, nevertheless, be the case.  For one thing, more than individual ability goes into successful performance.  A college running back with a weak line may do a better job running behind the behemoths of the Dallas Cowboys though defenses are also better.  By the same token, an elusive college quarterback may be easily contained by the bigger and quicker defenders of the NFL.  This same idea applies at each level of competition and in each contest, match or event.  Different realities require different tools.

So it is that potential is over and underestimated because seldom are all facts in evidence.  It is not known aforetime which prospects will play and which will pan.  Coincidentally, this is the exact reason that you have to play the game in the first place.  The conqueror is not known until the battle is engaged.  It could even be said that without competition we all lose.  This mystery in gamemanship is the reason I encourage those who see themselves facing long odds to step up to the plate.  We will not always succeed in our attempts, but, without the courage to compete, we have no opportunity for success.  The desire to accomplish and advance must not be quelled by the fear of possible failure.

The work of God bears some resemblance to secular endeavors, but it is not a straight match.  One thing for sure, we don’t always know who the best players are, and different ministries require different skill sets.  If you want to begin or continue to compete, regardless of whether you have been recruited, make yourself available.  You may find abilities unknown, even to yourself.  In time to come, the gallery may wonder why you were overlooked.  Not that the approval of the fans is the main thing.  Our goal is to give our best effort as members of the team whose success is not in doubt.  We are each parts of the squad but not the whole.  If you’re ready to play, then walk on.

Sterl

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