Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"Take a knee"

I saw the weirdest thing this weekend in the Dallas/Philly Football Game. It wasn't a play of great glamor or marvelous athleticism. It was a play of humility. It was a man choosing to put the best option for the team over getting another personal stat.

It was the fourth quarter with 2:30 to go in the game. Philly lead 10-6 with the ball on the Dallas 25. Philly RB Brian Westbrook busts through the on his way for a potential TD when all of the sudden he stops and takes a knee. That score would put Philly up 17-6 with 2:00 left. There is no way that makes sense. Wouldn't that put the game out of reach? Why would a high priced star do that? Who in their right mind would pass up a TD like that?

It doesn't make sense until you look at the situation. Dallas had no timeouts. The clock would stop at the 2:00 mark but after that Dallas could not stop the clock. Every play can take 45 seconds if some one wanted to take their time (like Philly would want to do). If Philly scored, Dallas would get the ball and possibly tie the game or even win. However, by not scoring, Philly could definitely run the clock out and thus win the game. Before the play, one of Westbrook's teammates aware of the situation, told him to take a knee. Westbrook was cheered on to do what was best for the team rather than what was best for himself.

When I hear that, I admire the personal sacrifice in the name of the team. Last week, coach Bobby Petrino of Atlanta "resigned" to coach another team when the going got tough with the Falcons. Over the weekend coach Rich Rodriquez "resigned" from W.Va. (his home college) to coach Michigan, which in his words was a "special opportunity." Truth be told, it is nice to see someone take one for the team, rather then for his own fame. Times might be tough in Philly but he still did something selfless while these other guys for whatever reason bailed on their teams for a bigger paycheck or for more glory in a bigger pond.

I know many pastors/Christians that do this too. They bail when times get rough. They go to "bigger" churches instead of sticking it out. They rather make a name for themselves at whatever cost instead of making a name in their given place, no matter the size. I know this is a question I had to wrestle with when I moved to RDU. I wrestle with this daily. Do I put my pride aside for the church? Do I seek "bigger" ponds rather than putting team first? Who glory am I striving for?

A lot of times I don't know how to answer this. Where do you stand?

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