Football and I are casually acquainted, but it often inspires me. What I love most about it is the artistry and awareness that can develop between players. The most visible sign of this connection is between the quarterback and the receiver of his passes.
There is nothing more glorious than watching a receiver make a catch, in spite of all the odds. Think of what needs to happen. The receiver has to understand completely where the ball is going to be, no matter how many circumstances get in the way. Sometimes it seems practically impossible. There are those one handed, leap up in the air, and fall on the ground kind of catches that take our breath away.
Other times the ball and the receiver are in the same place at the same time as if by magic. It looks like magic, but in reality, it is a practiced skill. Whenever that connection becomes that visible, we cheer and celebrate the skill of the play.
However, it is so disappointing when the ball is thrown and the receiver is not there. All that practice and skill becomes barren. We groan. The quarterback groans.
Have you figured out the life connection?
What if we rename the quarterback and call him – the giver. Now we have the life connection don’t we.
Most of us have been practicing all our lives to be a skilled giver. When watching a receiver catch the quarterback’s pass, we often forget how many hours the receiver has put into practicing the art of receiving.
How skilled are we at receiving?
For some reason, we often think we don’t deserve to be a receiver. Think how ridiculous this idea is.
What if the receiver of the quarterback’s throw didn’t believe he deserved to catch the ball? Perhaps that happens sometimes and is why the ball falls to the ground. Sometimes it is even intercepted, and we could stretch our analogy and say that the gift has gone to another who feels more deserving.
Most of us have forgotten the importance of being a skilled receiver. We believe that being a giver is the important role. Yet, without the receiver, the quarterback has no reason to throw the ball. Without the receiver, givers have no reason to give.
There are so many things and ways we give. We give of our hearts, our skills, our talents, our time, our patience. Each of those events needs a receiver.
What happens after the receiver of the ball makes the catch. He does something with it.
Nothing makes a coach, writer, teacher, parent, architect, friend happier than watching someone taking their gift and running with it, blooming with it, sharing it.
It inspires more giving.
Perhaps the hoarders of the world don’t know the joy of giving. Maybe that is why the trickledown theory of economics doesn’t work.
We know the joy of giving though don’t we? But, do we really understand that the whole idea of the game of football, and the game of life, revolves around the perfect synchronicity of the giver and the receiver?
We all need receiver practice.
We read a book, we could write a review in thanks. We get a personal email; we could let them know we received it. We hear a piece of advice, we could bloom our life with it and share in thanks. We could return more smiles, we could share more, we could comment on what we have learned, we could write more thank you notes, we could follow up more.
What about the gifts of Spirit that we have been given.
Do we use those gifts? Do we share them? Do we value them, or do we let them crash to the ground and the crowd groans at the waste of the gift. Do we understand that often a giver gets tired of giving to someone that doesn’t receive and stops throwing the ball to them; or waits until they use what they have, before giving more?
Let’s be more skilled receivers. I know we love being the giver. The quarterback tends to get more glory than the receiver does. However, the quarterback knows he is nothing without the person who will do something with what he is giving.
Let’s love being the receiver. What have you read today, heard today, smiled at today, and learned to today? It’s all been a gift. Receive it; say thanks to the giver by sharing it, and then go bloom your life with it.
Once we receive and use a gift, we become the giver; pay attention to who receives your gift, and let gratitude fill your heart for the practice of the skilled receiver.
Let’s have as much joy in receiving as in giving. Imagine the legions of angels cheering the great play, and rejoicing in our skill of living the gift of life to the fullest.