Brant tells his story better than I ever could. Watch the full video here: The Kingdom of God is Like a Football Team
An Unlikely Coach
When they asked Brant Hansen to be the coach of his son’s football team, the Rams, he said no for a good reason: he knew he wouldn’t be any good at it. But as so often happens in youth sports, no one else stepped up, so the job fell to Brant. Turns out he was right, he was a terrible coach, at least from a football strategy and tactics perspective. He “guided his team to an 0-12 record,” right up until the last game of the season when they faced the best team in the league, the team with seven coaches, the team that was undefeated–the team with the yellow jerseys.
That’s how it played out. The last game of the year featured the underdog 0-12 Rams vs. the 12-0 champion bound team with seven coaches–and yellow jerseys.
An Unlikely First Play
On the first play of the game the Rams received the kick off and their kick returner, a boy named Christian, ran it back for a touchdown. And just like that the Rams are up six to nothing. At this point Brant says, “I’m like, this is gonna be one of those Christian movies.”
But his enthusiasm was short lived.
The final score was 72-6.
An Undeserved Reward
The team was feeling pretty dejected. Their season was over and they had lost every game. But unbeknownst to Brant or anyone else on the team, one of the moms arranged for a white stretch limousine sporting Rams flags to drive out onto the field, to pick up the Rams–to pick up the losers.
The kids couldn’t believe it. “Is this for us?” they asked.
Brant tells them: “Kids go ahead. This is for you. We’re going to go have pizza and then we’re going to go swimming.”
So they piled in, and the limo drove off. And Brant says, “I will never ever forget the look–on the yellow team’s faces.”
That’s a beautiful picture of Jesus’ grace. Everyone of us is a moral failure. If you don’t believe me just read Matthew chapter five, and take note of what Jesus says in 5:21-30.
But in spite of our moral failure, if we give ourselves to Christ, he sends his Spirit, so we can enter in and have abundant life. That’s what success is from Jesus’ perspective.
“…many who are first will be last, and the last first,” Jesus said. He made that statement when he was in conversation with his disciples about the rich young ruler. To most people success looks like a youth football team with a 13-0 record, or a young man who’s wealthy. But Jesus defined a successful person as one who follows him. (Matthew 19:21)
It’s interesting how the desires of this world pass away. When I was a grade schooler I desired candy, more than anything. (Not able to find any candy around the house, I once ate an entire bottle of chewable vitamins–I don’t recommend it, it’ll make you puke.) In junior high school I could care less about candy, I fell in love with motorcycles, go karts, and all things motorized. (I once took a go kart for several laps around the local school building–I don’t recommend it, eventually the cops will show up and shut you down.) By the time I finished high school I could care less about motorcycles and go karts, I was on to other things.
When the moment comes, as it will for all of us, when we pass over to the other side, and we’re standing in the presence of Jesus, we’re not going to care about the desires of this world. The only thing that will matter on that day (and from that day forward) is following Jesus. (1 John 2:17)
Why not follow him now?
The Kingdom of God is Like a Football Team, Brant Hansen Page
Image via PublicDomainPictures.net