Trey Flowers, the defensive end for the Detroit Lions, was called last night for 2 identical penalties that he’s never been called for before.
Never been called, because he doesn’t do that. He uses a legal technique, and always has. (For the record, last night he didn’t do anything illegal, either…calls were egregious errors.) These 2 calls effectively ended up costing the Lions the game–a big swing of fortune.
For most of us, that was a frustrating end to a hard-fought game…and that’s it. We will vent on Twitter or Facebook, then go on.
Obviously, for the players, it’s a much bigger deal. Their jobs depend on an ‘even’ playing field. Their opportunities to compete are limited–only 16 games in the regular season.
These calls contributed to the Lions going from 1st place to 4th place in their division…a tough hole to dig out of!
After the game, Flowers remained composed, and did not ‘go off’ at all. He showed class and composure as he was asked about it. Professional, to be sure.
However, it does point out something very real we all go through.
Virtually every one of us has faced a situation where someone ‘over us’ in authority mis-applies that authority, treats us unfairly, or penalizes us without cause…either inadvertently, or maliciously.
How do we respond when that happens?
In all seriousness, this was a penalty in a game. Ultimately, it has no power to really change the lives of the vast majority of us.
…but there are other times that we do face unfairness, injustice, and a misuse of power and authority.
What do we do then?
Psalm 37: 1-9:
Don’t worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
5 Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
7 Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
8 Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.
9 For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.”
Don’t get me wrong–I’m not calling the Refs ‘evil’, I’m simply using this example in the game to deal with what is real in life.
There are people who are evil, unfair, and who misuse their power over us. In those times, it is important that we can ‘trust in the Lord’, that we “commit everything you do to the Lord”, who will come to our aid and help us!
He will make ‘the justice of our cause’ to shine!
True, we can’t do anything about the #NFL Refs, and we can’t change bad calls in that game, but we can, individually, rise above the unfairness and injustice we face–through faith in God!
Trusting that the Lord will work, even in unfair situations, is a key to rising above it. It changes our perspective, and enables us to remain faithful and strong, in the midst of serious emotional and relational challenges.
Don’t give in! Don’t lower yourself to respond ‘in-kind’. Instead, trust Him…He will do His work!