Saturday, October 8, 2022

Menacing Mike


The Apostle Paul speaks of being, “Pressed but not crushed.” I have been both pressed…and crushed…because…I played high school football.  More accurately, I played football through 9th grade…which though, is technically “high school,” is essentially glorified middle school football.  As a 9th grader I stood 6’1” and weighed a meager 135 pounds.  Yet, due to my height, I was placed on the offensive line as the right guard…next to the only player on our team who actually could be classified as your typical offensive lineman…Menacing Mike Mayer.  Mike was our center…and nose tackle.  He stood 6’2” and weighed over 300 lbs.  At the beginning of each play he would snap the ball to our quarterback and then stand there as defensive players bounced off of him like kangaroos on pogo sticks.

Menacing Mike was the kind of guy that everyone wanted on their team and no-one wanted to play against.  Playing next to Mike was great…until…it wasn’t.  It happened one late October Tuesday.  The 9th grade Indians of Wadena MN, met the Eagles of New York Mills.  The two mediocre teams were battling for gridiron glory when it occurred.  I saw the gold number 34 on the bright blue jersey streak through the hole between Menacing Mike and myself.  However as the white jersey-ed Eagle made contact with Cory, the owner of number 34, the brown ball was left behind, tumbling between the yard markers.  Seeing the fumble, I quickly jumped on the ball, securing its safety, while opposing white jerseys scampered to take it away.  A mere moment later, I felt the overwhelming presence of Menacing Mike in all his weighted glory, also attempt to secure the ball.  I was crushed under the massive frame of Menacing Mike.  The formerly inflated pigskin pressed deeply into my gut and I lost my breath.  I struggled to speak.  I struggled to breath. I struggled to struggle.  Never had I experienced such an overwhelming heavy burden before. 

After what seemed to be an eternity, Mike rolled off of me…and I was figuratively dragged off the field.  That was my last game for the blue and gold.  I couldn’t handle the heavy burden that high school football required. 

In 2 Corinthians 4:13-18, the Apostle Paul goes on to speak of the light and momentary troubles that we experience in this life.  He reveals that they are preparing us for the overwhelming weight of glory that will divulge God’s greatness, majesty, righteousness, magnificence…His Glory that believers will enjoy with him forever!

May we come to see how our struggles are so momentary compared to the glory of God that is to come! 


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