Monday, November 09, 2009

Playing Quarterback. . .

We watched a good bit of football on Saturday, so I am not sure what game was on when I heard it. If I had to bet, I'd say Alabama/LSU. Though I was cheering and sorely disappointed when LSU lost, something one of the commentators said about the Alabama(I think) quarterback caught my attention. He said, and this is an extremely rough transcription, "I'm proud of him. He took some risks during this game, and he doesn't usually do that. He needs to take more risks. You can't be a great quarterback if you are afraid to take risks. And, yeah, some of the risks hurt him ~ the ball was intercepted, he lost some yards. But, he has to learn that you can make mistakes and move on. The game goes on. And, you know what? You can even be successful after taking some risks and making some mistakes. You can even be successful after making some mistakes in a game against a team like LSU. And, he needs to know that. He'll be a better quarterback having learned that."

I don't remember what I was doing. I was not sitting and watching the game. I was probably cleaning up the kitchen while taking care of boys, etc. And, I had heard nothing before this little quote, and I heard nothing after, but this commentator had my attention and spoke deeply into the hidden fear-filled places of my heart.

First of all, I don't want to play quarterback. Yes, I would enjoy the accolades that a star quarterback receives, but I am perfectionist, and I fear, terribly, making mistakes, doing things wrong, disappointing someone, shouldering the responsibility, and having regrets. Regrets ~ especially terrify me. But, what if later I wish that I had. . . or what if later this leads to. . . And, so I struggle. Because we all have to play quarterback sometimes. There are some decisions that only we can make for ourselves. It is one of the reasons I love to be married. Erik says, "Jump!" And, I say, "How high?" I love to follow. I actually enjoy being told what to do. I have to watch myself because without realizing it at times I let my little ones order me around. They say, "Juice!" And, I say, "Will that be white grape, purple grape, or apple?" I love to please, and I love to serve ~ but making big decisions, taking big risks? No, not so much.

So, today I find myself in the quarterback's cleats, ball in hand, eyes searching the field for open receivers, and I am about to get sacked. I woke up at 2 last night debating the same age old debate, and it kept me awake until 5. I wrestled, prayed, thought, debated, you know the drill. You've done it, I'm sure. And, now I am worn out, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

So, why am I so afraid? Why have I not learned what the above quote says?

I'll tell you why.

Because I believe in playing it safe.

I like safety nets. I like seat belts and car seats and air bags and safety harnesses and fire alarms and helmets and knee pads. I'm not a risk-taker. I feel like I am living on the edge and being risky when I cut my son's grapes into halves instead of into fourths.


I have a huge choking fear, but that is not important here and now in my present state of indecision. I'm just saying. . .

I have issues with risk-taking. But, sometimes, you have to do things that might upset someone else. And, sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing. And, one of these days I am going to sacrifice the pleaser in me. And, then, maybe, finally, I will be able to see clearly without looking through other people's eyes, but rather looking at my situation through my God-given eyes. Why, oh, why do I worry so about what others think? About failing? About perceptions? About not being perfect?

Maybe this is my game. Maybe this time I will take risks instead of playing it safe. Maybe. And, maybe I will learn that the game will go on ~ good decision or big mistake ~ the game will go on, and I will learn that in the end I'm okay, and my kids are okay, and it is all okay.

But, I'll never know if I never take a risk.

Down. Set. Hut. . .


deana b said...

And whenever you get ready to do that and over whichever situation - it will be right!

dee said...

Wow-I could've written this post about thirteen years ago! Especially the part about the grapes. I used to think I was the only one who felt that way. :) I still prefer being told what to do,rather than telling others what to do. Just give me a list and I will check it off!

Kelly said...

Wow... I literally have chills reading this, as you just articulated my very own feelings in a nutshell. Feelings though, that I have never been able to putt together so eloquently. Wow. I am printing this out, hopefully it will encourage me. (And I have to laugh at the grapes... I actually quartered cheerios for my one year old. Seriously. Quartered them. Can you even imagine???)

Mary said...

I normally lurk on here but have been going through the same thing you described. I love safety, security, etc.

But we just finished a Bible study called Chase The Lion by Mark Batterson (Lifeway Stores). You may want to check it out. It's powerful. And will make you think even more about this area of your life.

I know it has for me. :)

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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