Always believe in God’s gameplan

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 17, 2005

What would you do if you were a high school football player whose coach sent in a play which called for you to run the ball to your opponent’s end zone and score for the other team? It has happened! It happened to me!

With seven seconds left in the game, Milton High School was leading Roswell High School 16-14. At stake was a birth in Georgia’s 4A playoffs. Milton had the ball on Roswell’s 40 yard line. All they had to do was run out the clock on the next play and they would win the game by two points.

Coach Peter Paul sent in the play to the quarterback which was me. You will never believe what Coach Paul wanted us to do. The play was for me to hand the ball to the tailback Andrew Yarbrough and for him to run as fast as he could for the other team’s end zone and score.

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“Coach has gone NUTS!” protested my center, Jody Moss. So, while the argument went on in the huddle, a delay-of-game penalty was called on Milton, my team. Finally we lined up, I handed the ball off to Andrew and he ran 55 yards in the wrong direction. He laid down in Roswell’s end zone and waited for the clock to expire with practically everyone on the field and in the stadium bewildered. I could even hear my father screaming, I thought he was going to ground me for the rest of my life for calling that play. The result was a two point safety for Roswell. Score tied. Time expired.

Was Coach Paul CRAZY? Was he out of his mind for calling such a play? You see, in order for us to have made the playoffs, we needed to beat Roswell by four or more points. After thinking about the chances of going 40 yards on one play or kicking a field goal from that distance, he decided that overtime was our best bet.

What was the result of our coach making that call? We won in overtime 22-16, on a third down, two yard run by Andrew Yarbrough. Andrew finished the game with minus 29 yards for the night but we won and we went to the 1st Round of the Georgia High School Football Class 4A playoffs.

Andrew later received a full-ride scholarship to attend college by playing football at Cumberland College in Kentucky. As for our team in the playoffs, we lost to Southwest Dekalb County High School. Who was the Quarterback for the Southwest Dekalb football team? None other than Quincy Carter! I have no problems telling people that I was the loosing quarterback in that playoff game especially when Quincy almost won the Heisman Trophy while he was at the University of Georgia and is now a quarterback in the N.F.L.

The story of this game sounds a bit like the cross to me. God became a man, was pushed around by his enemies and was executed as a criminal by the Roman Governor of Palestine. Satan appeared to have won. Jesus of Nazareth was dead. His disciples were scattered. On the surface, it seemed like God had suffered a great defeat. Or had he?

Three days later, Jesus was alive from the dead. Over a period of 40 days, he showed himself to hundreds of people. Then, 51 days later, Peter had explained that it had all been a part of a divine strategy. He continued and cited Old Testament predictions, which had been fulfilled by the resurrection.

There you have it! A game plan that looked like to the entire world like craziness. One, which still mystifies disciples in our church-huddles and observers in the world stadium. But, the Son executed His Father’s call to perfection. He died on the cross to take care of our sin problem and was raised from the dead. Through God’s perfect strategy, which looked foolish to the onlookers, we have become victorious – we have become winners.

Unfortunately, though, there are many people today who are still unwilling to believe in the cross and in the resurrection of Jesus. They think that it is absurd to believe in something that far fetched. They try to explain that the resurrection never occurred and that we are fools for believing it. Call me a fool if you want, but I believe in the resurrection of Jesus with all my heart and soul.

God Bless and GOOOOO DAWGS,

Marshall Murphy – Pastor, First Christian Church of Demopolis