“IT’S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEEEEEE!”
Those words will fill the stands at Neyland Stadium, in Knoxville, in a few days. They will echo off the surrounding hills and buildings, wafting across the Tennessee River and over the radio waves throughout the Volunteer State.
...but it’s already football time in Mt Juliet, Tennessee.
Ten-year-old Grayson Playl already has a couple of games under his pads and jersey in this sweltering August heat. And his second year of full contact football is off to a good start...again. In his second game - first of the regular season - our grandson scored two touchdowns and played a stellar defensive game, with a couple of quarterback sacks. You’re right, I’m a proud papa! Wish I coulda seen it in person. But I heard all about it and saw a little bit on an Instagram video.
After the game, he was walking across the field between our son, his dad, and our daughter, his Aunt Stacia. Unable to contain his excitement, he described the play where he scored one of his touchdowns:
“I was running across the field, and they had me cut off, so I ‘juked’ them and cut up field for the end zone...”
Stephen put his arm around his son’s shoulder and interrupted, “That’s right, Grayson! You cut up field, just like I told you to!” Our son is one of his son’s coaches.
At that point, Grayson made an awesomely pertinent confession. G looked at his daddy’s sister and said, in a voice filled with humility, sincerity and respect, “Aunt Stacia, I should ALWAYS listen to EVERYTHING my daddy says!”
WOW! I can’t wait to see if he really does that! I’m pretty sure his daddy never spoke those words about me. In fact, actions would show that neither his daddy nor any of his daddy’s sisters ever said that, at least they didn’t always DO that. Nor did they listen to everything their momma said. Believe me, Momma tried!
Sad to say, neither did their Papa always listen to everything his daddy said. Many times have I wished that I had listened to everything he said. Often I have deeply regretted not listening. Sometimes I was punished for not listening. Other times I have beaten myself up for not following his timely wisdom. Other times, natural consequences followed my not following his advice. Oh why didn’t I listen! He knew better than I.
Of course, it is even much more important to listen to the voice of the Heavenly Father. He always knows what is best for us. Sometimes it comes as a quiet, even silent, voice that whispers, “Don’t do that! It will cause great pain!” or “You should help that person, encourage her, be kind to him...”
It’s not like, “When they’ve got you hemmed in, cut up field!” At least not usually. Usually it’s more, “Just stop and do what’s right.”
To be sure, God speaks to us through His written Word, the Bible. Mary’s words to the servants at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee should burn into our souls. Just before Jesus performed his first recorded miracle, his mother told them, “Do whatever he tells you to do.” We also should do whatever HE tells us to do. ALWAYS!
Whether it’s a still small voice, an intuitive feeling or the written Word, we should ALWAYS listen to EVERYTHING the Father says...and then DO IT!
Steve Playl, columnist, college instructor, retired pastor, and chaplain, may be reached at email@example.com