AFTER FURTHER REVIEW
By Angus Nelson Football season is in full swing and I couldn’t be more excited. The predictions... the pageantry... the athleticism of both college and professional players... it's amazing to watch. However, despite all that, the most compelling reason for me to come back every season is the drama.
“Any given Sunday,” as the saying goes, any team can win or lose. That last play on that last down, when the scoreboard shows your team behind and the seconds are ticking off the clock -- there's still a chance!
You've been there. The room is soupy with tension. Your team’s Runningback rounds the corner of the line, burying his shoulder into a defender, powering his way over the first down marker to stop the clock and give your team one last chance at victory. On his way to the ground, a mass of herculean warriors converge, one atop the other. A helmet bounces down the pile of legs, pads, and grunts.
Just then, from under the collective mass, the ball squirts out. FUMBLE!!!
The opposing team pounces to recover the ball, pretty much guaranteeing their win with so little time left on the clock. I’m out of my seat, yelling at the ball player (television, really) calling out names and ridiculing the Runningback’s careless actions!!!
Then, the referee whistles and signals a review. Great, now the Jumbo-Tron will repeat the failure over and over for all to see. The shame. The regret. The opinions vocalized by onlookers. Those critical, judgmental opinions.
Moments later, the referee walks onto the field and turns his mic on. “After further review...”
Here it comes. The following words are sure to be haunting. Incriminating. Damning. Our team has been measured, and the fumble will stand. We're sure of it. The pain and embarrassment of another last-minute loss floods in.
Isn’t that how we usually feel when we’ve failed? The fumbling fool we've made ourselves to be? When we’ve let ourselves and the team down? We're very good at expecting the worst -- the other shoe to drop, the accusations to fly, and the condemnation to rain down -- when we’ve blown an incredible opportunity in our lives.
But sometimes, when that referee comes out and announces his "Futher Review," he finishes with: "...the runner’s knee was down by contact. The decision is reversed. The offensive team has a FIRST down!”
The Referee saw something we didn't!
“After further review” brought a second chance!
And isn’t that what God always says about us? No matter the situation or scenario, no matter what the fault or failing? Isn't God always saying, “After further review...?”
It's true. Because God always sees something no one else does.
So ask yourself: What’s your opportunity for “further review?” Are you expecting the worst, or believing for the best?