I wish I were Peyton Manning

Okay, it was bound to happen. Football season is upon us. My blogs may not always use football analogies and stories, but it will happen. It is one of my favorite hobbies. So, if you are not a sports fan, I apologize. I also promise you won’t have 4+ months of these analogies.

Last night there was a game played between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos. It was a highly anticipated game because one of the current stars of the game was making his debut on the Broncos team after being off the field for over 12 months. Peyton Manning had spent the first 14 years of his pro career with the Indianapolis Colts. He had a neck injury that required multiple surgeries and sidelined him for the last season. Then, this Spring, he was traded to the Denver Broncos. He is a great talent and holds a number of NFL (National Football League) records. And, I wish I could be him.

Now, I don’t mean I want to play quarterback in the NFL. I really like football, as a spectator and a fan. If I were on the field then I couldn’t see what’s going on, and that won’t work for me.

No, I want to be Peyton Manning partially because of the way he carries himself as a person even in the midst of his success. But mostly, I want to be Peyton Manning for the way he commands and leads his team. When he steps on the field people believe he can help make things happen. When he steps up to the line of scrimmage (his offense trying to move the ball down the field while the opposing team tries to stop them), he surveys the field, makes what he believes to be the right adjustments and gets his teammates in a position to be successful in that moment.

I like the way he helps those around him be the best they can be. I like the way he leads his team and helps them be in a position to succeed. They don’t always succeed, but he tries to help them see how they can.

Okay, I may be star-struck and thinking too highly of an NFL quarterback, but the point is this – often times, the best thing we can do for others is help them succeed, help them accomplish their task. As a leader we can help our “team” by looking out over the situation we face and figure out how to best utilize the gifts of the people around us. We won’t always succeed, but hopefully we’ll learn.

I also know this, Peyton Manning cannot win a game by himself. Most times success comes by means of people working together for a common goal. Success comes when we are willing to offer our gifts and put them under the authority of one who has been called to guide our efforts. And if we are that one, then the best we can do is know our teammates well enough that we know how best to engage them in the work.

So, I say I want to be Peyton Manning, but I really don’t. I just want to be the best I can be at what I am called to do. I enjoy watching Peyton Manning play because he seems to be a good man, a humble person, who tries to go out and do the best he can do to help his team. What I really want is for God to pour His Spirit into me in such a way that I give myself to the work of the Kingdom in the same way.

I really am just glad to be part of the team. I hope you are as well.

Oh, as to the game last night, Peyton Manning did an awesome job leading his team to a victory. He didn’t do it by himself, but he did his part well.

Holy high-five to you,


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