After years coaching football at the high school level, my husband is now volunteering at the college level. And this higher intensity game continues to teach me about life.

During the off-season, the coaching staff was busy recruiting. They traveled the country and visited hundreds of schools to meet potential players. Back home, they evaluated film after film sent in by high school athletes eager to play at the next level. After ranking the possibilities, they hit the road again with specific targets in mind. They talked to kids about the football program. The university. The city. They invited players to attend summer camps and extended scholarship offers.

 And now they wait.

 Wait for the recruits to make a choice. To verbally commit. To officially sign their name on a letter of intent in February. To pack their bags and join the team for next year’s spring and summer workouts.

 Just because the coaches have offered a place on the team, doesn’t mean that student will choose to come. So, they follow up the offer with visits, letters, and phone calls.

 What does this have to do with life? We’ve each been offered a place on the best team in the universe. To join a program whose philosophy is love. To execute plays like forgiveness, compassion, healing, truth. To combat the opponent’s strategies of bitterness, hatred, pain, and deception. To live and work under an authority structure rooted in justice and mercy.

But we have to make a choice. Choosing one team automatically rejects another. So chose wisely.

(Update 2012: For more lessons about faith and football, see Pigskin Parables: Reflections of a Football Widow and Pigskin Parables: Devotions From the Game of Football.) 

What about you? Have you made the choice? Are you recruiting your friends to join your team? Have you found that the other team is still trying to recruit you?

Football Friday – Make a Choice
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