Disappointment and New Life

December 5, 2022

A little over a week ago, Ohio State laid an egg on the football field. They were beaten by the team up north. It’s hard to imagine a more disappointing loss for OSU players, coaches, and fans. I am sure there were a lot of emotions all across the state. “How could this have happened?” was the question that shot around Ohio.

Sportscasters called it a “spectacular collapse” with many mistakes. For OSU, it appeared that the season they had hoped, dreamed, and worked for was down the drain and lost. You could read the frustration and disappointment in their faces as they left the field.

After the game, however, the coaches and players in the next days admitted there were things they could have and should have done better. They didn’t blame each other, didn’t accuse the officials of bad calls or injustice. They just owned up to their failures and went to work.

When the sun rose on Sunday, they got a great gift. They learned that their fate was not nearly as bad as they had thought. They discovered that they are back in the playoffs, playing for the national championship! The joy that I have seen and heard is incredible! Everyone from the coaches to the players to the fans feels like there is life again!

This can be a rather faithful picture of life in some ways, but in a far more serious way. A national championship is a big deal, but it’s not life. Our lives are the most incredible gifts we have. But no matter how hard we try, we all make mistakes. Some are mistakes of ignorance, some are lack of preparation, some are from negligence, some are flukes over which we had no control, and some of the things we call mistakes are actually sins.

No matter what the source of or reason for our failures, there’s no future in blaming, excusing, or laying down and bemoaning our fate. If it’s a sin, we go to God for forgiveness and restoration. For every other kind of mistake, we do what the Browns’ coaches and players did. We refuse to blame, we pull ourselves out of the hole, and we take full responsibility for our failures.

Wise man Solomon said, “A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.” Proverbs 28:13 TLB

Where have you failed? What have you lost? Nothing good will come from sitting around in regret, remorse, and self-pity. If you have been feeling depressed and defeated, take hold of your emotions, and take personal responsibility. Confess where you went wrong and make the changes necessary. Forsake the poor choices. Who knows what will happen?

The Buckeyes got another chance. Solomon says in one way or another, you will too.