I officially tarnished my perfect stats.
Last season, I got placed on the field goal team as the long snapper for field goals (if you don’t know what long snapping is, click here). That’s what I do. I snap a ball, with two hands, seven yards to the field goal holder. Easy money. It’s pretty fun, it’s incredibly easy, and it’s low maintenance. It is literally the easiest starting position to have on the football team.
And I screwed it up.
It was the second quarter. We were up 3-0. 4th down and long. We were on the, eh, 25 or 30 yard line. First off, I never heard them yell, “Field goal!” I’m not saying they didn’t, but I am saying I didn’t ever hear it. I ran onto the field late. Then, we had to hurry and get set to kick it before the play clock ran out. The ball was a little wet, mostly the laces. I literally smelled reefer (as in, marijuana) when I was down in my stance— no doubt coming from the ever-classy tailgating fraternities just beyond the fence behind the stands. Everyone was yelling. And I could see the play clock beyond the holder. We were down to 5 seconds and Gardner, the kicker, was halfway through his steps. This whole moment was in my head.
And I blew it. I snapped it low. I let go of the ball early. I didn’t use my legs at all. It was potentially (probably not) catchable, if you’re ready for it. But Jackson, the holder, wasn’t. He missed the catch, we never got the hold down, and we never got to even kick the ball. It was irrefutably my fault. I was too focused on everything else. The Bluehose missed out on 3 points, all because of me.
I was devastated. I play the easiest starting position on the team. Hands down. For me to mess up my job is like the QB dropping the snap or the free safety tripping in the open field or the kicker missing a PAT. It’s that bad. I have literally zero excuses to mess up. None. I have to be perfect. That’s the only acceptable outcome. And I wasn’t. Lucky for me, we won. But we won despite my performance— not because of it. I was a head case. I didn’t do my job. I was thinking after that snap…
Snap the ball.
Just snap it. That’s what I didn’t do. I snapped like a sissy. I handicapped my muscle memory. And it cost my team points. The real question is, though, how many points are we costing the Cross?
Yeah, how many points are we costing the Cross? You see that guy that you should invite to church or FCA or Bible study. But you don’t. There’s the person that you have legitimately been praying for. You should tell them— you don’t. Everyone around you is talking about sinful stuff and cracking very inappropriate jokes. You should stay strong, fight that urge to join in. But you don’t. We should stop acting like the whole world is going to collapse when we have two tests in one day or when things are a little tough. But we don’t. We should stop leaving people out to eat lunch and dinner by themselves. We should go sit with them, like a real Christian would. We don’t. We should stop blaming the errance of the world for how we skirt our biblical responsibilities (Can we blame the sins of a reverend for all our irreverence?)* because “it’s hard to be a Christian.” We don’t. I should be more patient and offer to help classmates with material when they are legitimately confused. But I don’t. I should study more of the Old Testament in order to better understand God’s character. I don’t.
None of those things are hard to do. “Trying” is essentially useless because trying gives an excuse to fail. Well, I gave it a shot, so that justifies it not working out. With water polo, sure. With baking a birthday cake, yeah. With the salvation of people around us and our own relationship with God, not a chance. There is no excuse to not just go and do. I have been saved from eternal Hell by the Blood of Jesus Christ shed for me on the Cross. What the heck am I waiting on? A text? A carrier pigeon? We must stop “not doing.” In Christ, there is “do” and “didn’t do.” Enough of the “didn’t do.” Stop waiting on things to fall out of the sky.
Hebrews 4:12-13– “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.“
With every bad snap, I owe my coach— my team— an explanation as to why I didn’t perform. With that bad snap the other night, it’s plain and simple— I just didn’t snap it. I kinda tossed it back there like a wuss. I didn’t just allow my training and muscle memory to take over. I robbed our team of points. With every missed spiritual opportunity, I owe the Creator an explanation one day. And I owe my fellow Christians an explanation. I rob Jesus of blessing and grace. I rob my church family of impact and credibility.
You want the perfect field goal snap? It’s pretty simple— snap the ball.
You want to experience the true meaning of the Cross?
It’s pretty simple… just go and do it.
If it matters, you’ll find a way. And if it doesn’t matter, you’ll make an excuse.
*Lyrics from Lecrae’s “Timepiece”