Saturday, January 30, 2016

LESSONS IN HUMILITY: #1 From the Sidelines To The Ball-Field

So I like American football, love it actually.  It has been hard keeping up with it while living in Asia these past 3 years.  I love when God gives me analogies based off this sport and I was excited when the first lesson God gave to me on humility was a football analogy!!!  So here we go, my first lesson in humility. Down, Set, Hut!


I love Aaron Rodgers, especially the way he handled all the “Brett Favre Drama” as he transitioned to the Green Bay Packers Quarter back in 2008.  In my opinion he is one of the few humble athletes left in this world.  That being said I’m going to use him in 2 sports analogies (the other one will be for another blog).

On November 9, 2007 Brett Favre was injured with a banged up right elbow and separated left shoulder while playing against the Dallas, Cowboys in Irving, Texas.  Favre is tough, he loves the game and he loves to play, even through injuries, so being his back up means having very little play time.  I remember being devastated when Brett was taken out. I had no idea who this Aaron Rodgers was!  Brett was the man and in my opinion and the opinion of those other Packer fans I was watching the game with that Thursday night at the Orlando Ale House on Kirkman Road, no one could be as good as Brett Favre!!!!  On top of that this was a HUGE game with playoff circumstances at stake!

After 3 years of watching and studying Favre from the sidelines, with very little play action, Rodgers finally got his time to shine; and he didn’t disappoint either, throwing his first TD pass shortly after being brought in the game.  Unfortunately, the Packers lost this game by 10 points but Rodgers played well, impressing the Packer coaches and fans with his skills and talent! Even though we lost the game we were all encouraged by how great our back-up QB played that night! It gave us hope for the rest of the season, whether Favre came back or not.  

That game was the beginning of the “Brett Favre drama.”  Coaches and fans eyes were opened and they began to see the potential of a new QB.  Talks and plans began forming about the possibility of replacing the Packers beloved Favre; who was getting up there in age and had been speaking about retiring for many years before this game. 

I came across an interview a few years back after Rodgers first Superbowl victory.  He was asked about the 3 years he spent as a back-up QB for Favre.  Rodgers didn’t spend 3 years sitting on the sideline, waiting to be traded.  He took advantage of the opportunity to learn from someone like Favre.  He spent those 3 years studying  Favre because he knows Favre is AMAZING and his knowledge of the game is well rounded. 

He knew that one day he would have the opportunity to play and when that time came he wanted to play well, just like Brett.  He didn’t want to disappoint the team so he spent the three years studying and watching hard.  Now, 8 years later, Aaron Rodgers has received multiple MVP awards and is being considered as one of footballs greatest QB’s.  Most importantly, he is also keeping the Packer’s legacy alive!!!  J   (SIDE NOTE: I’m sure other second-string QB’s have done the same, I’m just singling out Rodgers because I love the Packers and think he is awesome!!!)

PHOTO CREDITS USA Today "The Best and Worst Parts of Brett Favre"


But that isn’t all.  Here is where Rodgers humility really showed! After 3 years of sitting on the sidelines he finally got his opportunity to move from back-up to starting QB!!!  But for the next several years until the Superbowl XLV win, he still had to live under Favre’s shadow as all the “Brett Favre Drama” played out.  Sports commentators around the world tried turning two talented grown men’s unfortunate circumstance into a High School girls teen drama!! 

Rodgers was being compared constantly to Favre but Rodgers kept his cool, did his job, and remained kind.  He didn’t defend himself with his words, he let his playing do the talking.  When he did speak he remained kind, speaking highly of Favre and his skills.  Even the few extremely AWKWARD games that were played together after Favre transferred to the Vikings, Rodgers kept his cool and remained kind.  Even after he heard reports of the horrible things Favre said about him and his playing, Rodgers kept his cool and remained kind.  I’m sure it bothered the mess out of him but he kept his cool and remained kind anyways. 

Rodgers could have been the crappiest QB to ever play football but I would have respected him and always remembered him just the same because of the way he handled himself during those continuous years of drama.  He had every right to blow up on Favre, ESPN, NFL Network, Sports commentators around the US, and Joe Buck (don’t get me started on this dude), but he chose the high road!  I admire him tremendously for the way he handled himself during those 3 years!


Humility is being OK with being a second string player and doing it well.  It’s being a team player who keeps their attitude in check and isn’t bitter about their position; even though they have the skills to do more. It’s someone who studies hard for the sake of the team, knowing the plays inside and out so when their time to play comes they are ready and will play well.  Are you a second-string/support player and if so what are you doing with your position? 

Humility is standing your ground when it seems like the whole world is crashing in on you, you feel mistreated, and underestimated.  It’s doing your job and doing it well regardless of what’s going on around you.  It’s choosing to move on and look past the comments and beliefs others have about you and asking God what He thinks about you.  It’s choosing the high road in the midst of controversy and waiting patiently for that controversy to go away (because one day it will).   It’s being kind regardless.  Most importantly, it’s trusting in God’s will for your life and walking hand-in-hand with Him to a brighter future!!  Who knows, maybe there will be a Superbowl ring and trip to Disney in your future!? ;)  One day the mess will pay off!!



As most of you who follow me know my word for 2016 is “humility.”  It sucks, just as I suspected it would when accepting this as my word for the year.  I’m such a prideful person so I know I have a lot to learn through this word as God chips away that pride.  I’m going to keep a record throughout 2016 of the lessons I learn in humility so you, my friends, can hold me accountable and so I have an electronic record to reflect back on in the future.

I want to be real with you and let you know I haven’t mastered these things I’m learning.  They are a work in progress and I mess up constantly even though I know them.    They are things that God is teaching me through my quiet times and journaling as I work to understand humility this year.  I appreciate your prayers as I continue this journey!  It’s tough, I’m struggling, but I will overcome.

“for everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” ~1 John 5:4  

“He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~1 Corinthians 15:57