Bob Richards, the former
pole-vault champion, shares a moving story about a skinny young boy who loved football
with all his heart. Practice after practice, he eagerly gave everything he had. But being
half the size of the other boys, he got absolutely nowhere. At all the games, this
hopeful athlete sat on the bench and hardly ever played. This teenager lived alone
with his father, and the two of them had a very special relationship. Even though
the son was always on the bench, his father was always in the stands cheering. He never
missed a game.
This young man was still the smallest of the class when he entered high
school. But his father continued to encourage him but also made it very clear that
he did not have to play football if
he didn't want to. But the young man loved football and decided to hang in there. He
was determined to try his best at every practice, and perhaps he would get to play when he
became a senior.
All through high school he never missed a practice nor a game but remained
a bench-warmer all four years. His faithful father was always in the stands, always
with words of encouragement for him.
When the young man went to college, he decided to try out for the football
team as a "walk-on. "Everyone was sure he could never make the cut, but he
did. The coach admitted that he kept him on the roster because he always puts his
heart and soul into every practice, and at the same time, provided the other members with
the spirit and hustle they badly needed.
The news that he had survived the cut thrilled him so much that he rushed
to the nearest phone and called his father. His father shared his excitement and was
sent season tickets for all the college games. This persistent young athlete never
missed practice during four years at college, but he never got to play in a game.
It was the end of his senior football season, and as he trotted onto the
practice field shortly before the big playoff game, the coach met him with a telegram.
The young man read the telegram and he became deathly silent. Swallowing
hard, he mumbled to the coach, "My father died this morning. "Is it all
right if I miss practice today?" The coach put his arm gently around his
shoulder and said, "Take the rest of the week off, son. And don't even plan to
come back to the game on Saturday."
Saturday arrived, and the game was not going well. In the third
quarter, when the team was ten points behind, a silent young man
quietly slipped into the empty locker room and put on his football gear. As he ran
onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see their faithful
teammate back so soon. "Coach, please let me play. I've just got to play
today," said the young man. The coach pretended not to hear him. There was no
way he wanted his worst player in this close playoff game.
But the young man persisted, and finally feeling sorry for the kid, the
coach gave in. "All right," he said. "You can go in."
Before long, the coach, the players and everyone in the stands could not believe their
eyes. This little unknown, who had never played before was doing everything
right. The opposing team could not stop him. He ran, he passed, blocked, and
tackled like a star. His team began to triumph. The score was soon tied. In the
closing seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way for the
winning touchdown. The fans broke loose. His teammates hoisted him onto their
shoulders. Such cheering you have never heard.
Finally, after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and left
the locker room, the coach noticed that this young man was sitting quietly in the corner
all alone. The coach came to him and said, "Kid, I can't believe it. You were
fantastic! Tell me what got into you? How did you do it?" He looked
at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Well, you knew my dad died,
but did you know that my dad was blind?" The young man swallowed hard and
forced a smile, "Dad came to all my games, but today was the first time he
could see me play, and I wanted to show him I could do it!"
Like the athlete's father, God is always there cheering for us. He's
always reminding us to go on. He's even offering us His hand for He knows what is
best, and is willing to give us what we need and not simply what we want. God has
never missed a single game. What a joy to know that life is meaningful if lived for
the Highest. Live for HIM for He's watching us in the game of life!
* somebody is very proud of you.
* somebody is thinking of you.
* somebody is caring about you.
* somebody misses you.
* somebody wants to talk to you.
* somebody wants to be with you.
* somebody hopes you aren't in trouble.
* somebody is thankful for the support you have provided.
* somebody wants to hold your hand.
* somebody hopes everything turns out all right.
* somebody wants you to be happy.
* somebody wants you to find him/her.
* somebody is celebrating your successes.
* somebody wants to give you a gift.
* somebody thinks that you ARE a gift.
* somebody hopes you're not too cold, or too hot.
* somebody wants to hug you.
* somebody loves you.
* somebody admires your strength.
* somebody is thinking of you and smiling.
* somebody wants to be your shoulder to cry on.
* somebody wants to go out with you and have a lot of fun.
* somebody thinks the world of you.
* somebody wants to protect you.
* somebody would do anything for you.
* somebody wants to be forgiven.
* somebody is grateful for your forgiveness.
* somebody wants to laugh with you.
* somebody remembers you and wishes that you were there.
* somebody is praying for you.
* somebody needs to know that your love is unconditional.
* somebody values your advice.
* somebody wants to tell you how much they care.
* somebody wants to share their dreams with you.
* somebody wants to hold you in their arms.
* somebody wants YOU to hold them in your arms.
* somebody treasures your spirit.
* somebody wishes they could STOP time because of you.
* somebody praises God for your friendship and love.
* somebody can't wait to see you.
* somebody loves you for who you are.
* somebody loves the way you make them feel.
* somebody wants to be with you.
* somebody wants you to know they are there for you.
* somebody's glad that you're his/her friend.
* somebody wants to be your friend.
* somebody stayed up all night thinking about you.
* somebody is alive because of you.
* somebody is wishing that you noticed him/her.
* somebody wants to get to know you better.
* somebody wants to be near you.
* somebody misses your advice/guidance.
* somebody has faith in you.
* somebody trusts you.
* somebody needs your support.
* somebody needs you to have faith in them.
* somebody will cry when they read this.
* somebody needs you to let them be your friend.
* somebody hears a song that reminds them of you.
* SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU TO SEND THIS TO THEM.