Who Keeps You on Track?
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow… Again, if two lie together,
then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone?”
I remember watching the longest game in NFL history on Christmas Day in 1991. It ran for 82 minutes and 40 seconds, finally ending with a Garo Yepremian field goal that allowed the Dolphins to win 27-24. I couldn’t help but think about the pressure Garo must have felt in that final moment. With all the missed opportunities in the game, no one was taking this kick for granted. Whether it’s punting or placekicking a kicker can quickly become the hero or the scapegoat, depending on where the ball hits his foot. It is mastering that particular contact that allows a player to extend his time in the NFL. Kickers are a unique breed. Much of what they do is more mental than physical. There’s just no room for fickle footing.
Nothing frustrates most coaches more than a kicker who is unpredictable and erratic in his ability to simply kick the pigskin through the uprights. He watches the kicker in practice make 50 and 60-yard field goals. The Head Coach gets his Special Teams Coach to make sure the kicker warms up and has plenty of time kicking into the net on the sidelines before he enters the game. As the kicker enters the game, the coaches still hold their breaths, hoping that all the jeering opposition and robust fans don’t mess with the kicker’s mind, distracting him.
Place kickers are especially careful in choosing a holder with good hands and a calm spirit. The holder is to the kicker what a reel is to a fishing rod. They must work in perfect harmony in order to complete the job. A holder is usually one of the kicker’s best and most trusted friends. After taking the snap, a holder has to spin the ball perfectly, so the laces face the goal post. If the laces are anywhere but straight forward the ball can wobble, reduce the distance, or lose accuracy. The ball is centered exactly to the kicker’s preference. Confidence in the holder is critical to the success of every kick.
Many teams work extra hard to intimidate the kicker. They realize that if they can “get into the kicker’s head” and make him lose confidence, he’s likely to rush his kick and hit the ball askew.
So it is in life. There are times others can get into our heads, distracting us, stirring up fear, or drawing out temptation. Surrounding ourselves with friends we can count on, who will encourage us and keep us on track is essential to staying the course. We all need godly friends—folks we feel comfortable opening up to, sharing our deepest hopes, fears, and secrets.
Inspirational friends who are centered on God’s Word can provide great godly wisdom and counsel. The book of Proverbs is full of great counsel about the benefits of having a good friend, a spiritual buddy you can depend on. We all need someone to hold those unique burdens, placing them into proper prospective so we can kick them where they belong in the hands of caring and loving God.
The Power of Truth:
- “A friend loves at all times.” Prov. 17:17a
- “And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecc. 4:12
Suggestion for Prayer:
If you don’t have a friend like this, ask God to bring one into your life. Ask Him to make you this kind of friend to others.