By Martin Perez
May 20, 2023
phesians 4:1-3, 13: “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. … till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
I remember the day clearly. I had just gotten out of English class and was walking to my next class when all of a sudden Coach Wilkz took notice of me and approached me. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Why aren’t you on my football team?” I didn’t have an answer. At 15, my mind didn’t even think of joining high school sports. I was too busy just trying to survive the awkward shyness that plagued me as a hopeless introvert. Still, I was pleased that someone would even see potential in me. I called home after school and proudly let my mom know, “I had been invited to join the football team.” She was ecstatic.
It was an amazing experience. I discovered so much about myself and learned some important life lessons in my short athletic career, one of which I try to live today that has helped me weather the challenges families face in modern times. I learned about the importance of the huddle.
On the field there is complete chaos. Once the football is snapped everyone springs into motion. Keeping a clear head while under pressure is key, but occasionally, the confusion of game play can cloud the minds of the players. There is so much going on, physically and mentally, that it’s hard to keep things straight. There are two main things that help in the “fog of war” so to speak. One, trust your quarterback or team captain. They are leading the plays and have a vision of the outcome. And two, make a personal commitment to knowing and practicing the plays. These two principles increase the chances of victory.
But, sometimes, unfortunately, the game play would be so chaotic and confusing that a “huddle” would be called. During these huddles the quarterback would help us centre ourselves. He would help us bring into focus the plays we needed to run in order to enact our strategy. Our aim? We needed to drive that ball into the end zone at any cost. In these huddles we’d be inspired by our leader, we’d pump each other up, and we’d catch our breath for the challenge to come, then we’d break and take our positions ready to take on the opposition.
Life is no different than the football field. Our family is the team and as parents we’re the leaders of that team. Our ultimate goal is to get our family across this vast field and into the “end zone” of eternity. But what if our kids don’t trust us? What if we’ve failed to develop the relationship so that they feel like we don’t have their best interest in mind? What if we fail to see their God-given potential and positively encourage growth? Worse yet, what if we have failed in inspiring the practice of principles of righteousness because we ourselves fail to model them?
My dear reader, even if this is your reality, there is still hope! Our heavenly Coach Jesus can still direct our game play. As long as we have breath, we can put to practice His direction, we can lead our families with confidence, and we can choose daily to practice the principles we need to live by as disciples of Jesus. We can also “call” a huddle. Call every member of your family to meet together, play together, worship together, and re-centre together. Guide those under your care to focus their attention on the Lord Jesus Christ. In these huddles together we can challenge and encourage each other as we grow in the likeness of Christ.
Huddle as often as you need. Huddle tonight! Don’t let another day go by in complacency or doubt. Refuse to accept defeat! Take this opportunity to help your family succeed, gain the victory, and take part in that heavenly Super Bowl!