A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dave's Deep Thoughts - Dog Football Upset Victory

Here's Pastor Dave McDowell's weekly devotional that he sends out to members of his church. Dave is my brother and serves as the Music Minister at Stewartstown UMC in PA.

When the leaves begin to turn,
and temperatures start to fall,
everyone at my home celebrates the sport that we all love.

Oh, you think I am talking about football……
no, I’m talking about the other  F-sport,

My home is filled with the energy of two dogs….
one an English Springer Spaniel puppy.
We’ll call him Baby Bushy.

The other, a full grown yellow lab.
She will be known as Hannah the Hulk.

Life to them is all about food and fetch.
If they could, they would be playing fetch 18 hours a day.

At the slightest motion towards the toy box,
Baby Bushy whimpers like, well……. a baby
and begins running in mini-circles
much like Superman reversing the rotation of the earth.

Meanwhile, Hannah the Hulk, in her grownupness,
sits at dutiful attention
like a soldier at roll call.

The revered ball is lifted high,
and the two enter a state of delirium,
that makes young children on Christmas morning
look like toddlers who have been bypassed by Santa.

As we reach the magical world of OUTSIDE,
the two come to an immediate sit position on the line of scrimmage
They are the poster children for focus.

Twelve rabbits could cross their path.
It would not matter.
For them, all of life in that moment is about  the ball.

Ready, set,  FETCH!
It isn’t even close.
Hannah the Hulk leaves Baby Bushy for a long gain down the sideline.

2nd play from scrimmage,
the ball caroms off a tree immediately into Baby Bushy’s path.
The little tike picks up the ball and begins running for his life,
but his little legs can only carry him so far…..
Team Hannah runs him down by grabbing his leg and flipping him over.

Under the scrum, Baby Bushy tries to hold on.
but with 4 inverted paws, he inevitably fumbles.
Ball to Hannah the Hulk.

3rd play from scrimmage.
It’s a fake!
Hannah the Hulk is fooled.
Baby Bushy has a clear path to the ball.
But Baby Bushy needs to pee pee.
Despite the attempt to call time out,
Baby Bushy cannot complete the act in time.
Another gain for Hannah the Hulk

4th play from scrimmage,
It’s a pass high into the sky!
Both have time to get under the ball.
Unfortunately, Hannah has hind quarters bigger than Baby Bushy,
and out jumps him to pull in the reception.
Another advance for Team Hannah.

Things are looking bleak for Team Bushy.

5th play from scrimmage,
There is a holding call on Hannah the Hulk.
Actually the holding is Master holding her collar as the ball is released.
Baby Bushy scampers downfield and retrieves the ball
and begins running towards the goal line.
Unfortunately, the hold is released
and Hannah the Hulk barrels down the field toward Baby Bushy

At his young age, Baby Bushy has learned 
that although Hannah the Hulk is faster,
the Babe has better moves.

Team Bushy jukes right, then left,
briefly escaping the rush of Team Hannah 
That is, until Baby Bushy is cornered at the sideline.
The little guy never has a chance……..
As Team Bushy views the world from upside down,
Hannah the Hulk comes away with the ball.

But wait!
Flag on the play…..

Team Hannah is called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
This does not sit well with her.
Baby Bushy lives to play another down.

Time for one final play.
The situation seems hopeless for Team Bushy.
Never-the-less the little guy lines up for one final Hail Mary.

The ball is thrown…
a deep pass to the corner of the cornfield.
There is no way that Baby Bushy can outrun his colossus opponent……

That is till the game changer…….
It seems that Hannah the Hulk forgot to use the facilities before pre-game,
and now needs to stop in mid-field and poo poo.

Team Bushy,
seeing the opportunity
storms past the squatting Hannah,
seizes the ball and runs to the goal line.

A beleaguered but now relieved Hannah protests to the official,
but instead of getting the call,
is flagged for inappropriate conduct on the field.

Game over.
Bushy wins!  Bushy wins!

There is something to be said for a puppy
who does not surrender to the giant hound.

David was like that.
He gazed upon Goliath  and listened to his taunts.
While most would say,
He’s so big, how can I win?”
David said,
He’s so big, how can I miss?”

How do you respond to the giants in your life?
Bank accounts that don’t seem to have enough to pay the bills,
Diseases that seem to hold master over the body,
Relationships that seem to crumble rather than prosper.

Name your giants.
They are there.

But they don’t have to win.
David didn’t look within himself for the victory,
He looked to his God.

“Then David said to Goliath,
‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, 
but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.
This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands,
and I will strike you down and remove your head from you.
And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day 
to the birds of the sky, and the wild beasts of the earth,
that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.’ “
                                                                                                                               I Samuel 17: 45-46

That’s a spunky little guy.
That’s a guy who knew where to place his trust,
despite all the overwhelming circumstances.

I have a spunky little puppy.
If he can place his trust in the right place, can’t you?

After all, he’s the one parading around with the victory ball.

Just be sure to tell the marching band
to watch where they step during the post game show.

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