When I first encountered what I called “American Football” on TV, I asked my husband-to-be where they found these men with humongous shoulders. The game seemed silly to me, and I never understood it. I even got kind of got frustrated with an entire country caught up in the “stupid” sport, wasting so many hours watching it, discussing it and yelling at the television. What’s the big deal? Just a bunch of grown men trying to get from one side of the field to the other while hitting each other’s bodies…

But I live in America, and football isn’t going anywhere. It is part of the culture, and an important part to boost. So by the grace of God I chose to get educated this fall and learn about the sport. I let my family and friends teach me the basics and I began to watch the game. Mind you, I had my computer on my lap for in case I got too bored.

And even though I wouldn’t call it boring, it was excruciating at first. I could hardly follow the football, and there were too many bodies on the field, too many flags and calls, too many explanations from my well-meaning friends. ..

But something happened as I persevered: I began to appreciate the skill necessary to do what these men were doing. I began to see that there was actually a strategy involved in every move. Nothing was random. And something funny started to happen: I really wanted that football to move across the field to the other side! I got all excited when it did, and all bummed out when it was stopped. I asked questions. Now things were making sense.

Learning the best way to move a football from one side of a field to the other through a bunch of obstacles; practicing the different plays so they become second nature in the midst of heavy pressure; pressing through pain and insults; the sheer joy of victory when the ball reaches the goal…. Sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it?

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