“Lord, at least let me get back up after he knocks me down.” Paul Zinn, fellow football player in High School
On September 15, 2013 my father-in-law left us to be with the Lord. The last thing he had told us was that he was ready to be with his Lord. An avid football player, wonderful husband, terrific dad, great friend, talented handyman, and so much more had come to the end of his playing field.
Some of the memories brought out at his funeral had to do with his football years in high school, college and in the pros. One gentleman joked around about how you could never stop him and you were always looking at his back as he ran right passed you, or through you in some cases.
After reading about his years of playing in college I can vision him doing just that as he carried with him several nicknames down the playing field. Names like “The Pride of Prineville, Prineville Phenom, the Razor, the Prineville Prancer, Frosh flash from Prineville, standout rookie.” Looking through the eyes of those up against him no wonder Paul Zinn thought to himself, “Lord at least let me get back up after he knocks me down.”
Daily as we stand up against our opponents in life we should have the same prayer in our hearts. “Lord at least let me get back up after cancer, financial issues, relationship problems, health issues knocks me down.” The request of Paul Zinn wasn’t to be placed against someone else or taken out of the game. He just wanted to be able to rise again after being knocked down. There are many things in life that will knock us flat on our backs and we need to be willing to get back up and go again and again. Our prayer should never be that God takes us out of the game but that He will help us back up.
Luckily for us we do have a God that will do just that as He helps us back on to our feet. It may be to only get hit again but it is to do many other things too. To score against our opponent, to show them and ourselves we can do it, to build courage, strength, and character in ourselves for trying our best and never giving up.
We may never carry the nicknames down the playing field of life that Mel did but at least we won’t get the nickname of coward, loser, quitter, and poor sportsman. Like it or not we are all going to get our “hits” in life that will knock us around and down a time or two or more but its what we do with those moments in life that really counts. We can be like Mel who kept on running after knocking his opponent down or we can lie on the field staring up into the sky wishing someone would come along to stand us upright.
We are the ones who need to be willing to get back up. God gives us the ability to stand up to the hits we will encounter but it will do us no good if we don’t utilize that capability in our lives. The news of my cancer delivered a mighty blow to my heart and life, one that I didn’t think I was going to be able to stand up against. I felt beaten already and was ready to give in before I even gave myself a chance to win.
I was the player on the field staring up at the sky thinking it was worthless to have someone come along and stand me upright because I was going to die anyway. Wrong attitude! I may have been caught off guard by my opponent unlike Paul Zinn who saw his coming straight at him but I didn’t need to lay down and play dead long before the blow was totally felt.
The two and half year extension on my life would never have been had I given up and quit at the very beginning. After all, the fact that I am still alive is a blessing from God because in all reality it didn’t have to be me. God was not finished with me yet and I need to have the same attitude in order to complete the game of life.
Ready or not here “it” comes is something we can endure if we carry with us the right attitude. The attitude of at least being willing to get back up when life knocks us down. As I keep moving forward I want my family to see nothing but my back side as I run with all my strength the race marked out for me. Carrying in my heart the attitude that Satan or life can knock me down but they can’t make me fall. That part is up to me.
Melvin Ronald Gillett, may you rest in peace
© 2013 Karen J Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing In Udder Words Tuesday and Karen’s Crossings