Being Unconventional

Day 28

“Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

– 1 Samuel 16:7

On Sept. 5, 1906, St Louis University quarterback Bradbury Robinson threw football’s first legal forward pass. From that point forward, when throwing a football on playing fields, in backyards, or gym classes, everyone was taught to hold and throw a football a certain way. Hold the football with your ring and little fingers crossing the laces and your thumb underneath. Your index finger should be over the seam, and your thumb and index fingers should make an “L” shape. Position the ball near you ear, and face in 90-degree direction. Grip loosely and throw in a half-circular motion, letting the football roll off your fingertips – for that perfect spiral every time.

Then there is Dec. 4, 2010, when a 20-year woman from Grand Rapids, Michigan walked onto the field of the Georgia Dome and won the Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway by pumping 7 out of 10 footballs into a giant replica Dr Pepper soda can…and did so by launching those footballs with a two handed chest pass. On this day she wasn’t going to be mistaken for Tom Brady, but more like LeBron James finding an open teammate on a fast break. In the end, it won her $100,000 and changed her life forever. Ever since, the chest pass, shot put, or any other non-conventional form of throwing a football has won the contest. And ever since, whoever has won the contest was at the mercy of social media about their unconventional throwing mechanics, and how in doing so looked foolish, or in some cases being accused of cheating. Some social media users even went as far as starting a petition to ban any unconventional method that didn’t conform to throwing a football in the “traditional” way.

Thanks to that trailblazer from 2010, any past or future winner who achieved their glory via non-conventional throwing mechanics simply won’t care what anyone thinks or who they offended. In the end, they are competing to win $100,000 to secure their future, change their life, and to relieve the stress on their families in paying for their college education. If you look at their stories now, the winners have gone on to change other people’s lives through music, medicine, education, and civil service.

The Bible is filled with stories of how God used people through unconventional means to get His message across and the job done. Think about how silly David must have looked going up against Goliath with only a slingshot, or Joshua marching the people around the city of Jericho in silence. What about Gideon only needing 300 men to wipe out the Midianites when he had 32,000 men to start with and all they needed was trumpets and torches! What about Elisha who had an invisible army at his disposal, and was able to reduce a seemingly unstoppable foe to nothing!

There are many things we can’t possibly understand or comprehend, but if we are willing and have a heart to serve God, He will use us to get His message across and the job done. In the end, it won’t matter what unconventional means we use, or how foolish we look in being obedient and willing. God’s message will change people’s lives, and in the end that’s what it is all about!!!

Confession for today: “Jesus, even when I don’t understand, I’m going to be willing and obedient to get the job done by whatever means necessary! In doing so, I will be a difference maker in my school, on my sports teams, and with my friends.”

Living for Today,

Mr. Tom