Faith, Fractures, and Football

romodow1.0As the camera focused on the face of Jerry Jones, the agony of the Cowboys owner was only exceeded by the pain of his quarterback.  Tony Romo had just been sacked, and the force of the tackle had broken his clavicle.

While I watched Romo walk off the field, I wondered about the severity of the break.  I also thought of a phrase in the New Testament where Paul instructed Titus to “set in order the things that are lacking.”

This phrase describes the need of Romo.  “Set in order” is the Greek word epidiorthoo, and it is a construction of three words:

  • Epi which means upon.
  • Dia which means through.
  • Orthos is the main part of this word, and it means to straighten or make correct.

Orthos is the prefix of words like:

  • Orthodontist who is focused on the correct alignment of teeth
  • Orthopedist who is concerned with a straight skeleton
  • Orthodoxy which is associated with the correct teaching of the faith or of theology

In Romo’s case, the doctors will make sure the clavicle is aligned and straightened, so it will mend properly.   Romo will also need to give the injury time to heal.

Some people invest more time caring for their physical needs than they do their spiritual fitness.  This mindset can lead to a fractured faith.  To prevent this from occurring, the book of Hebrews says you should “strengthen your tired arms and your weak knees, and straighten the paths of your life, so that your lameness may not become worse, but instead may be healed. Pursue peace with everyone, as well as holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:12-14).”

If you fail to do this, you may be sidelined along with the Cowboys quarterback.

A Normal Failure

images (2)Success and failure are the topics of many discussions.  In the Proverbs, Solomon draws a contrast between the “God-loyal people” and the “wicked” and how they manage the difficult times they face:

“Don’t interfere with good people’s lives; don’t try to get the best of them. No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don’t stay down long; Soon they’re up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces.” ~Proverbs 24:15-16

When a person is successful, he hears the cheers of the crowd; however, when he fails, the whispers of the same people are heard as an agonizing shout.  Failure is, however, a normal part of a person’s life.

With this in mind, let me share my Top Ten Failure Quotes:

  • Failure is not falling down: It is staying down.
  • “Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be” – John Wooden
  • “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
  • “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison
  • “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
  • “It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce that counts.” – Zig Ziglar
  • “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
  • Try again. Fail again. Fail better. ~Samuel Beckett
  • Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed. ~Lloyd Jones

When I think of a God-loyal person, I think of Tim Tebow.  This young man had a stellar career as a college quarteback.  When his professional career came to an abrupt halt, some peole labeled him as a failure.

Tebow stayed in shape, continued to work hard, and he signed a contract with the Eagles this week.  He is anything but a failure, and he is a living example of Solomon’s words: “God-loyal people don’t stay down long; Soon they’re up on their feet . . . “