Lesson from Dad
You know how you can remember random things your dad said to you?
Over the past few years I've reflected on specific memories and asked myself, why does this particular memory continue to surface?
Here's one of those. It's something my dad said to me in 4th grade. After some recent reflection, I realized the words he spoke on that day are still shaping who I am today.
I was playing football in Allen, TX where I grew up. My dad was the coach and I absolutely loved it.
I was one of the kickoff returners and my dad called a reverse on this particular kickoff.
I caught the ball just like I was supposed to and started running to my right to hand off the ball to the other return man.
But then right before I handed it off I looked up and then down the field. There was no one there! What do I do?!
I was faced with a moral dilemma. Do I hand off like I'm supposed to in accordance with the play my dad called or do I keep the ball and take off running towards open field.
So much at stake... I didn't want to disappoint my dad!
I kept it. I'm not sure how or why I made the decision but it was split second.
It played out perfectly!
I scored a touchdown. I remember it like yesterday.
We all celebrated back on the sideline but I was pretty quick to tell my Dad why I decided to keep the ball and not run the play he called. And like I had hoped, it was a positive response...he didn't seem to mind! (Of course he didn't, we scored!)
But it's what my dad said later that evening that I'll never forget.
He said his favorite part of the entire day was watching that play and me scoring that touchdown. But he said his favorite part was not the actual touchdown, it was the fact that I had the awareness to look down the field and at the last second make not only a good decision but the right decision. That was his favorite part.
Wow! What a feeling for a 4th grade boy. My dad was proud of me!
I learned a lesson that day. I have been subconsciously living by this lesson since that day and I didn't even realize this until recently when I was doing some "digging."
Sometimes in life there's a play called. It's the thing that you're "supposed to do." The play that's called could be from your parents, society, friends, or even yourself.
But sometimes in life you have to look "down the field" and see that there is a better decision to be made. No one else will see what you see so it'll be hard in that moment to call the audible but you have to trust your gut and go with what you know is right.
It's ok to go against the grain...to be a little bit different. And if you are going to follow Christ, you don't have a choice, that's what you are signing up for.
One Saturday evening. One conversation. 25 years later and I'm still living by it...continuing to make my dad proud.
A dad's voice can be powerful can't it?