I never thought I'd write about football, not being much of a fan. After my son's football team, however, experienced a crushing-some may say embarrassing-defeat last weekend, here I am at my keyboard. I have to share what I witnessed, a glorious, triumphant defeat. Yes, I meant glorious and triumphant. It was their Alamo, wounded and worn warriors fighting a much better team. They went down fighting, 0-46. It is the heroes of the Alamo that we remember, after all.
In the fourth quarter, I was closing my eyes partly in prayer but also in fear for our boys on the field. I had just watched the team doctor binding an elbow with ice and tape and taping the ankle of another player who was already playing with a cast on his arm. This mother's heart was worried for her son. "God," I prayed, "We need a miracle. I'm praying for a miracle." I was praying for a touchdown, actually, asking for such a small miracle really, that the team would not go down scoreless.
Sometimes God's business is not in small miracles.
"You already have your miracle," a Voice spoke to my soul. "Look at your son. There's your miracle."
So I looked and watched in awe as the coaches sent in every player in the senior class to make a last stand at their goal line. My son stood shoulder to shoulder with his own Band of Brothers, experiencing something unique to themselves, as they defended their team, their school and, most importantly each other. It was a boys to men moment, as they played together for one last time. It was a bittersweet defeat. I thought I might weep for the beauty of it.
I pray that I will go out of this world still on the battlefield
2 Timothy 2: 1-5 (NIV)
1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.