Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.
One play doth not the game make. But it sure can come close.
In the last quarter of the National Football Conference title game last night — the game which decides who goes to the Super Bowl — a long pass from Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, that should have been longer, was hanging up and heading right for San Francisco 49er safety Jaquiski Tartt. It had “Game-changer” written all over it. The Rams were trying to come back from a second quarter deficit, and they were on the move. An interception right then would have vastly changed the momentum of the game and could have altered the final outcome. It was so obviously an interception, he could have signaled for a fair catch. But instead, the ball bounced off his chest, through his hands, and fell harmlessly to the ground. Tartt lay dejected face down on the ground until it seemed like he might never get up. Most fans and many players may forget that play, but he never will.
“There ain’t too much you can do to practice a moment like that,” said Tartt after the game. “The only time you get that moment is when you get it, and for me, it was a moment of truth, and I didn’t step up.”
How many moments like that have you had in your life? How many opportunities to step up and make something happen? How many moments of truth? It could be an opportunity to kick an old habit, or help someone in need, or volunteer to use your spiritual gift in some way, or tell somebody about Jesus, or respond to that small voice inside you asking you to step up. With God in control and the Holy Spirit guiding you, there’s really no way you can lose. Even if you drop the ball.
Missed moments like this can haunt us, but we mustn’t waste time looking back, or thinking, “What if?” We learn from the experience, move ahead, and get ready to catch the ball next time.
Here’s guessing that Jaquiski Tartt is going to be watching the Super Bowl with probably an ache inside, knowing he and his team could be playing in that game had he made that simple catch. Or maybe he will have forgiven himself by then. And moved on.
Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62
This reminds me of the fumble by Earnest Byner in the 1987 AFC Championship game. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fumble. When I was a Young Life leader in the Richmond, VA area, our regional director was also the chaplain to the Washington team during the Joe Gibbs era when Byner was also a member of the team. The chaplain noticed that Earnest had a photo of that play on his locker and asked him about it. Earnest told him that the play represented both the low and high points of his career, but that it also didn’t define him as a player or a person. It just happened to be one moment in time.
We all make mistakes and I guess when someone makes on that millions see it can be frustrating at times. I just think about our Lord and Savior and the love he has for all of us to pick each of us when we are feeling down no matter what and their with us thru the good times and even more glad when we still walk beside him during those great times. I had a feeling before the game the Rams would win call it third time a charm or finally have their time after losing to the Niners six times in a row. I am just glad we all still enjoy watching a great sports game like that thru the highs and lows. Take care, God Bless, and Amen.
Peter could have beat himself up over taking his eyes off Jesus and sinking. “What if I had trusted more?” ” I could have walked all the way to Him.” Roll back the tape. What if he hadn’t ventured out of the boat in the first place? Whatever drove him…impulse, pride, bravado, foolishness, fear of sinking with the boat; whatever caused him to put one foot, then the other, and start walking doesn’t matter. If he hadn’t gotten out of the boat, he would never have learned that trust in Jesus is the ultimate lifesaver. And I’m sure that knowledge was used by the Holy Spirit to come back from his denial of Jesus.
Thinking of Peter gives me hope for myself.
Amen. Peter is such a great picture of God working through and with us because he wears everything on his sleeve.
Thank you John, as always, for your affirmation. Sometimes I feel like I’m in left field, wearing a different uniform. I’m beginning to enjoy it out here. 🙂
From Today’s Catch that I LOVED: “With God in control and the Holy Spirit guiding you, there’s really no way you can lose. Even if you drop the ball.” Amen!