Yesterday’s NFL action saw a crazy situation where a veteran player retired…That in and of itself is not a big deal, other than it took place at halftime without his teammates or coaches having a clue it was going to happen; in fact, the guy had even started the game… So obviously folks are calling him a quitter and slamming him pretty good.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not condoning how he went about retiring but I do understand his explanation… “It’s more important for me and my family to walk away healthy than to willfully embrace the warrior mentality and limp away too late.” (Vontae Davis)
Again, I am not saying it was right to surprise his team the way he did in the middle of the game, but one has to wonder what happened on the filed in the first half… did he get hurt? Did he simply realize he could no longer keep up --- could no longer help his team?
I know there is always the debate on aging athletes on when they should hang it up… and often the stories of the guys that simply could not call it quits and went out the hard way. Seldom do you hear that athletes leave the game on their own terms…
When it comes to this thing called life, we all must realize that our “season” will come to an end… and there will a time during that “season” where we realize we have to “play the game” a little bit differently. I am convinced that one of the most important things we are supposed to be doing is discipling/mentoring those that will come behind us…
It is amazing how many times this thought has come up just today… I am preparing for an intern that is moving here tomorrow to serve with InBounds for a year, so I am preparing things to start training him; our MAD Hoops director and I were discussing tonight the need to mentor new leaders in that outreach; I was giving advice to a young basketball player and her parents and talked about the importance of getting under the wing of an upperclassmen; and then in reading the article about the retired player, kept seeing the theme of who is in line to fill the spot…
So this week I am simply challenging you to make sure you are not only sitting under good teaching/training, but also that you are actively looking for ways to be an example/mentor to others.
2 Thessalonians 3:9 …but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.
Here the Apostle Paul is taking an intentional mentoring approach. I love how The Message reads on that phrase: We simply wanted to provide an example of diligence, hoping it would prove contagious.
I recently read it this way: Be a Barnabas (an encourager)! Pursue a Paul (someone with the ability to train you)! Train a Timothy (a willing follower)!
Make sure that when it is time to “hang up the sneakers” there is someone to take your spot “on the court”! Make sure you are aware of “who’s got next”!