By Sunday, all 32 NFL teams will be in camp and getting ready for the start of the 2011 football season. With the new CBA’s, Two-A-Days are no longer in effect, so head coaches will have to find a way to get the most out of the one physical practice and use the walkthrough to teach new free agents and rookies the system. One of the aspects I want to focus on about training camp is the rookies.
This is their first experience working out with NFL veterans with the exception of the player ran workouts, such as what Drew Brees did with the New Orleans Saints. We have all heard of something called rookie hazing where the veterans make the rookies sing their college fight songs or carry the veterans’ pads off of the practice field. It is all part of the rookie initiation process.
We have something similar to that in the Christian faith. It is called Baptism. When we are baptized with water, we become a part of God’s community of believers similar to a rookie being a part of a NFL organization. Paul tells the church in Corinth that no matter where we come from or what nationality we are, once we are baptized, we all become part of God’s church.
“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)
One story I remember from training camp last year was when Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver Dez Bryant refused to carry Roy Williams’ pads off the field. Bryant told media after the incident over a year ago “”I feel like I was drafted to play football, not carry another player’s pads.”
When you are a Christian, you can’t take the same attitude that Bryant had. Jesus tells his disciples that we can’t be afraid to face persecution. It is all a part of being a disciple in Christ.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)”
Today, I exhort you to not worry about yourself and your pride. Whether you have to pick up pads for someone else or do something that is right that we just don’t want to do, just know that if it is what our Lord wants us to do, we should listen to His will. I pray that you decide to pick up your cross and follow Him if you don’t already.