Coaches work hard with players to develop in them the skills needed to protect the ball at all costs. Most NFL teams conduct a regular drill in which the runner scampers past a group of heavy-handed linemen who attempt to knock the ball away.
Fumbles, failures, goofs — whatever you call them — do strange things to a team’s confidence. They can be momentum breakers and can produce lost games — both in sports and in life. On the flip side, however, when too much attention is placed upon these occasional failures, it can cost a good player his confidence and his composure.
What do Michael Vick, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, Matt Cassel, Mark Sanchez, and Phillip Rivers have in common? Yes, they are all NFL quarterbacks, and after only 5 games into the 2012 season they all have had 5 or more fumbles. Michael Vick had 8 fumbles in this period of time. It is curious that quarterbacks, whom we think of as having gifted hands, have lost the ball more than running backs.
How often have you dropped the ball? Maybe you missed a critical appointment at work. Or perhaps you forgot your child’s or even your spouse’s birthday. If we place too much attention on our missed opportunities, we can become ineffective and depressed.
Despite our shortcomings, God can use each of us to build His kingdom.
I think too many people feel unworthy because they place too much focus upon their failures instead of on the graciousness of a loving God. Too often we glorify Bible characters and believe that our ability to serve God is less than those “saintly” prophets and apostles of yesterday. It is encouraging to remember that our heavenly Father has equipped each one of us with special talents. He wants us to utilize these gifts rather than be overly critical of our failures. Think about how God used biblical characters despite their imperfections:
David’s armor didn’t fit.
John Mark was rejected by Paul.
Amos’s only training was in the school of fig tree pruning.
Solomon was too rich.
Abraham was too old.
Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse? So did Peter, Paul —well, lots of folks did.
Aren’t we glad God doesn’t keep an account of our fumbles? He is quick to forgive and forget; despite a bad year He still has us in His lineup next season.