We rented Facing the Giants and watched it last night. I love that movie. Especially the death crawl scene, where the coach has the team captain crawl on his hands and feet (can’t touch with your knees) down the field with another player on his back. Usually, the players go about 30 yards and they drop. This time the coach asked if the player would give him 100%, no quitting, leaving everything he had on the field. And because the boy believed that he could only go about 50 yards, the coach said that he had to perform the exercise blindfolded. The player (being a well-built athlete) started out strong and his teammates were joking while they were watching. Because of the tight shot of the camera, you can’t tell where on the field the boy was, but we know he started in the right end zone.
As the hash marks pass on the boy starts to grumble to the coach that he doesn’t think he can go on. His coach, crawling sideways in the boy’s face, is encouraging him on. The load on his back gets heavier and heavier. His knees and elbow begin to shake and the complaints get louder. The on-looking teammates start to quiet down and stand up to see the player crawling farther and farther down the field. He can’t make it anymore. TWENTY MORE STEPS! DON’T YOU QUIT ON ME! GIVE ME EVERYTHING YOU GOT! TEN MORE! TEN MORE! yells the coach, egging him on as the team watches with their jaws dropped.
The player is totally spent, how is he still going? He has to be at the 50-yard line by now. DON’T YOU QUIT! DON’T YOU QUIT! FIVE MORE, JUST FIVE MORE STEPS! YOU PROMISED ME YOUR BEST! DON’T YOU QUIT! The coach is going nuts, screaming at this boy. Screams of pain come from a blindfolded boy with another boy bobbing back and forth on his back.
Finally, the boy has nothing left, he has left it ALL on the field. Collapsing onto the ground crying and convulsing, the boy is sorrowful that he let his coach down, that he didn’t have enough to please one of his most respected mentors. His coach takes the blindfold off the crying gridiron warrior and tells him to look where was. The boy looks up to see that he had performed a death crawl a full 100 yards to the other end-zone. The coach tells him that he is the most influential players on the team and that the other players look up to him. If he shows up with a defeated attitude, the rest of the team will. “You just carried a 140 lb. man on your back for 100 yards.” The boy who served as the payload for this little stroll across the field interrupted the coach to inform him that he actually weighed 160 lbs.
We are capable of much more than we think we are. We think we know our limits. Limits that we set when things start to get hard or uncomfortable. But what if we pressed through that limit? Broke our own glass ceiling. Christ is encouraging us every step of the way, crawling through the dirt and mud right alongside us. We think we know how far we can go, how much we have to give, and how much time we have to spend, but we are blindfolded. He can see clearly down the field. He can see the end zone. “Just twenty more steps.” When we gave our lives to Christ and called Him Lord, we promised Him our best. When you leave this life, do you want to be able to say that you left it all on the field? “Just ten more steps.” Are you selling yourself short? Do you have a preset limit on the amount of time you can pray, because you start to get sleepy after 20 minutes?
I am capable of carrying the load a lot farther than I have been. I have been setting my sights on the 50-yard line when my Coach and my team need me to make it to the end zone. For that, I apologize. It’s time for me to put on the blindfold that will keep me from seeing my preset limits and start listening to my Coach and to his guidance. He knows me and my capabilities better than I do. It’s a new game, and I’m in it to win it.
I thank you for indulging me in this little ramble, and if you haven’t seen Facing the Giants, I suggest you do. If you have seen it, see it again, you’ll see new things in it that will speak encouragement and faith into your life.
Courage and God Speed.