Matt Ryan, Joe Flaco, The Super Bowl and Church
Fort those of us who live in the ATL the comparisons now begin.
- Drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft
- Started as rookies
- Successful rookie seasons
- Flaco playoff win…Ryan playoff loss
Now, the comparisons and questions continue. Flaco won a Super Bowl ring and Ryan sits at home. Flaco can win BIG while “Matty Ice” melts when the pressure is on.
The comparisons are wrong.
Football is a team sport…perhaps the ultimate team sport. Flaco didn’t win the Super Bowl any more than Matt Ryan lost a playoff game. The Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl and they won it as a team.
The Ravens aging defense stood at the closing moments against the agile youth of the San Francisco 49ers while Flaco was on the sidelines. If the defense doesn’t hold…the Ravens don’t win.
While in Atlanta, critics will wonder if we drafted the right guy in Matt Ryan.
Critics miss the point. Joe Flaco didn’t win the Super Bowl. The Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl.
Church has a tendency to view their starting line-up the same way. The Pastor is the Quarterback and everyone else plays supporting roles.
But if the Offensive line doesn’t block, Flaco has no time to throw. If the running back cuts left instead of right, the hole is closed and the 8 yard gain turns into a 2 yard loss. If the receiver runs the wrong route Flaco throws to an empty spot instead of the receivers hands. And if the defense doesn’t make the stand, the whole effort is for naught.
It’s easy to be a critic when you are not in the trenches.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. Teddy Roosevelt
Don’t be a critic. Instead, use your energy to spend yourself “in a worthy cause.” Get in the arena. Mar your face with dust, sweat and blood. Fight in the trenches with your Pastor and Pastoral team. Make the blocks…run the routes…take a defensive stand.
And when lives are changed and all of heaven celebrates at one soul saved, smile at your role and know that the team gets the win.
Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out. Matthew 16:17-18