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My heroes don’t wear shoulder pads July 20, 2009

Posted by Joe in Faith.
5 comments

To many people, professional athletes have been elevated to a status beyond stardom, beyond even royalty. They’ve achieved the level of near demigods.  And many athletes in the limelight let that revelry go to their heads, walking around as if the normal rules of society don’t apply to them.

Steve McNair seemed like a great exception to the stereotypical it’s-all-about-me professional athlete. His selflessness on the field is near legendary. He sacrificed his body play after play for a few extra yards. He played when it was obvious to everyone in the stadium and on TV that he was in pain. Yet when the ball was snapped he went 110% and the pain wasn’t evident. As a result he inspired others to give their all and perhaps play even above their natural abilities.

But his contributions were not limited to on-the-field activities. More than once he renegotiated his contract to free up salary-cap money and allow other players to be signed to the team. Team mates and coaches speak of his leadership in the locker room. He was a team player, an all-star, and a natural leader all rolled into one.

His unassuming style of leadership, work ethic, natural abilities, and great smile made him a very likeable person. I liked Steve McNair.

That’s what made his untimely passing a few weeks ago very disturbing to many, including me.  Michael Hyatt summed it up well in his recent blog posting “One Stupid Decision Away“. I couldn’t say it better. I’m not going to repeat it here; just go to read it on his blog. You won’t regret it even if you’re not interested in sports.

I hope we can all learn lessons from what Steve McNair did right. But I also hope we can learn even more from the series of mistakes he made that led to a tragedy that affected so many others. And will for years to come.

Please don’t misunderstand. I don’t stand in judgment of Steve McNair. We all fall short. We all make mistakes. We are, after all, human. And people make mistakes.

My point is that it’s important to have a hero that doesn’t let you down, that doesn’t make bad decisions, that doesn’t potentially influence you to go down paths you’d be better off not traveling. And there’s only one that I know of that fits that description. He was a Jewish carpenter named Jesus.

As another professional athlete, Charles Barkley, once quipped, “I’m not a role model. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.” As controversial as “Sir Charles” can be, I think he’s right on this point.

Who’s your hero?

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Lydia “reads” Timothy a book July 15, 2009

Posted by Joe in Family.
5 comments

Lydia decided to “read” Timothy a book this evening after church. Timothy found it hilarious.