It was the last football game of the season for West Wilson Middle School. As a sixth grader, Grayson was one of the youngest players on the field, and he had, perhaps, his best game of the year. As a defensive back, he had broken up a couple of passes from the other team in an earlier game, but this time he had two interceptions. Not bad for an 11-year-old. Not good for the other team. The opposing team wanted complete forward passes. The defense wanted pics. Our grandson delivered the interceptions. And I have pics on my phone as proof.
When the Playl Jr.’s were here for Christmas, G showed Nahnee and me a prized necklace. College bowl games were on TV. Some were of special interest to us all, but G’s treasure was almost as special as the oranges Joe Milton III tossed in celebration of winning the Orange Bowl - at least for our clan.
Grayson’s prize is a Batman necklace, passed on to him by an eighth grader on the team who purchased it to remind him of the importance of a winning season. They were undefeated. J.J. Wright, the eighth grader, passed it to Grayson because G was his favorite sixth grader. In two years, Grayson will pass it on to a star sixth grader to complete the forward pass.
As we approach Super Bowl LVII, Grayson is spending many afternoons after school at West Wilson in the weight room at Mt Juliet High School working out and conditioning for football next season. He is training for the next game. Working to do his best.
Sammie and I were finishing dinner at Outback when a lady walked up to our table and addressed us, “Hello, beautiful couple.” (She was half right.) “I have something for you.” ...and she passed a $10 gift card to us. She went on to explain that it was a bonus that came with a gift card they had purchased, and it was about to expire, so she hoped we could use it.
We thanked the stranger profusely and did indeed add it to our payment for the meal. I added a $10 tip, which was more than the 20 percent I normally would have tipped, completing another short forward pass.
Matthew’s Gospel tells us that when Jesus sent his disciples out to spread the Gospel and heal the sick to - in a sense - “pass it on.” He said, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” We need to do the same thing in our present age. Some folks call it paying it forward. I like the idea of completing a forward pass.
Many times, someone will pay for the next car in line at the drive through. Then, that next driver will do the same...and so forth. Even better than helping someone in that way is the principal of teaching someone what you have learned or challenging them to do their very best.
The greatest way to complete the forward pass is to share the faith and teach others to also share and continue the cycle. That is what the Apostle Paul did with young Timothy. And that is what we should do. Complete the forward pass. Share the Gospel of Christ with others and teach them to do the same.
Paul told Timothy, “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” Another completed forward pass.
Steve Playl, email@example.com.
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