Watching Eli Manning play the Carolina Panthers yesterday was painful. No it was not because he was sacked seven times in the first half or he was knocked down a dozen more times right as he threw the ball. That was painful enough, but what I also saw was his team no longer trust what had brought them two Super Bowl championships. Because he and the Giants have gotten off to such a rough start their first two games — seven interceptions, multiple fumbles, and many timely mistakes – they didn’t play with confidence or reckless abandon – instead they played afraid — afraid to make a mistake, afraid to trust their football instincts, and afraid to have faith in their teammates.
We can learn from the Giants’ painful example. If God requires anything of us, we should not draw back under the pretext we will fail or stumble. It is better to follow his path imperfectly, than not at all. For example, you avoid someone who needs your help because they cause you to lose your temper or patience, but how are you going to learn self-control if you shun all occasions to practice it. Self-choosing God’s path for us, is a bigger mistake than going forward and making and fumbling the opportunity. Aim a firm mind to do what is right, go wherever duty calls, and believe that God will always forgive the faults that inevitably appear in spite of our desire to succeed and please God.
A great quarterback must trust that his receiver will break to the ball just as it arrives. In life, we must trust God calls us and will be there when we arrive.