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Devotional - Upon Further Review

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes engages coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport.

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Devotional - Upon Further Review

We're excited to share the following "Life's Equipment Bag" devotional from a friend of FCA here in North Texas, John Strappazon. John is a former college chaplain and ministries specialist who now writes to impact men and women through his ministry, Trajectory.

Life's Equipment Bag  

Upon Further Review

It's not perfect. "You've got humans overseeing the replay system just like you've got human officials on the field. It's never going to be perfect. Rogers Redding, National Coordinator for College Football Officials

Instant replay came to college football 53 years ago on December 7, 1963. However, its introduction wasn’t quite what the CBS network had hoped. First, the chosen game between Army and Navy was delayed a week due to the Kennedy assassination. Ironically, President Kennedy was to have been in attendance. Second, CBS Sports Director Tony Verna’s 1300 pound videotape instant-replay system was plagued with technical problems and as a result only one replay went over air while the game was underway. Third, the only replay came at the end of the game when Army scored a touchdown to cut the deficit to six points and immediately CBS phone lines were overwhelmed with confused fans. Had Army scored again to win the game?

Broadcaster Lindsey Nelson reassured the viewers, some to their relief and others to their disappointment, that Roger Staubach and the Navy Midshipmen had indeed won 21-15.

Today, replay is taken for granted and is a huge part of not only the television game day experience, but in stadium as well. Even with the popularity of replay it took until 1986 for the NFL and until 2004 for college football to employ it to review officials’ play calls. Curiously the NFL dropped it in 1992 and reinstated it in 1999. However, even with replay, because of the human factor, the right call is not always the outcome.

No one wants to be cheated. When a call isn’t made when we feel it should have been or when one is made against us when we feel it shouldn’t have been we are tempted to think the game is rigged. So it’s imperative that those who have been designated as officials (parents, bosses, leaders, and the like), while still players themselves, endeavor to make the right calls - to “get it right.” While there’s no replay system for the game of life, the Coach has provided many principles in the Playbook that can form a review system. Here’s the system:

  • Be fair. Everyone deserves a level field. Impartiality is a must.

False weights and unequal measures— the Lord detests double standards of every kind. Proverbs 20:10 (NLT)

  • Listen. Everyone wants to believe they’ve been heard, but everyone tends to think they’re right or that their cause is just.

The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him. Proverbs 18:17 (HCSB)

  • Get the facts. Gather all the information you can from all involved. 

What a shame—yes, how stupid! — to decide before knowing the facts! Proverbs 18:12 (TLB)

  • Pray. Ask God for His help.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

Call to the booth. Consult with others you trust.

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. Proverbs 12:15 (NIV)

  • Make the call. Play must go on. People hate indecision almost as much as they dislike the call going against them.

He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. Proverbs 2:8-9 (NLT)

While no human system is perfect and some calls will be missed, we can know that Coach Jesus doesn’t miss anything. The flag may not fly when we’d like, but He will make the call at the right time.

People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. Proverbs 16:2 (NLT)

The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. Proverbs 15:3 (NLT)

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