A New Playbook
My name was called first for the senior night celebration at our last home game of the season. Friends, family, and fellow students were there, proudly wearing their “Get Ben In” shirts, designed by Mike.
The game was close through the first three quarters, but in the fourth quarter, USC went on a scoring streak to take a 20-point lead. With only 1:49 left on the clock, I could hear the “Get Ben in!” chants from all over the stadium. I put my helmet on so I looked ready, just in case I got the call to go in the game during the final few plays.
And then an assistant coach turned to me and excitedly shouted, “Benny, you’re in!”
You would think when the moment I had been waiting for all season finally arrived I would have sprung into action and known exactly what to do. Instead, I was frantic. The quarterback called the play but I was completely lost and confused. Where am I supposed to go? We never practiced this! That was not in the playbook!
Finally I remembered I was supposed to protect the quarterback on that play, so I ran in his direction. I instinctively raised my left arm in a fist-pump celebration. I had gotten into a game. “Get Ben In” had become a success.
After the game, my phone was maxed out with voice mails and text messages. But there was one voice mail I will never forget. Bob Yates, the sports editor at the Dallas Morning News who had delivered the devastating news back in March that he was unable to offer me my “dream job” that I had been planning on, left a touching message: “Ben, I am so proud of you. I will never forget the image of you holding that fist pump.”
To think that if I had gotten my dream job at the Dallas Morning News earlier that year, I would not have been standing in that locker room or running out to the field. I was reminded that none of this was a coincidence. Even when I was discouraged, even when I felt lost, the hand of God had been coaching me through every play of my life, even those that weren’t in the playbook.
When have you felt God’s guiding touch in your life?