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Childhood reflections with a touch of grace: My Super Bowl

My beloved cousins were always a great source of entertainment, even when we weren't shooting each other with BB guns. Sometimes, just a game of football was all that was needed to while away a summer afternoon.

In 1972, I was a 10-year-old football phenom, not because of my athletic ability, but because of my adoration of the undefeated Miami Dolphins. I knew most of the player's names and I cheered loudly at every victory. To say I loved that team is a massive understatement. So I naturally fancied myself a protege of their greatness.

It is no wonder that when we took to the backyard gridiron, my pride was suited up to go the distance, no matter the odds. On one particular play, my team was on defense, and I was the proverbial last man standing, as my cousin, Bob, came running towards me with the football. In that moment, he looked more like a three-ton bulldozer and I felt like a gnat.

Then I remembered the Dolphins and I became Larry Little or Nick Buoniconti, ready to mow my opponent down. I was half right, because my thick, muscular cousin was indeed a lawnmower and I was the grass beneath his blades as I made a vain attempt at a tackle.

Big Bob scored within seconds while I was seeing stars after our brief, but monumental encounter. I got to my feet, somewhat deliriously offering my autograph to a group of adorable dolphins who were cheering me on from the stands in my head, which was still loosely attached. My head began to clear as I pondered how those dolphins could stay out of the water so long.

What didn't take long to notice was the dull, aching pain that began to slowly radiate in my jaw. Since I considered all dentists to be the spawns of Satan, I hid my pain for months before finally consenting to see one. It was confirmed that I was mentally challenged for attempting to tackle a boy three times my weight, but I blame that on the Miami Dolphins. My reward was gum surgery to determine if I had blood pockets or tumors marking the spot where my bottom teeth introduced themselves to the "bulldozer". Fortunately, it turned out to be blood pockets which were easy to fix.

That football game taught me the valuable lesson of never trying to tackle things that are too big for me to handle. God has a lot in common with the ‘72 Dolphins, because He remains undefeated when battling our enemies. He doesn't throw interceptions, miss tackles or fumble the ball in the game of life. We have the privilege of becoming the trophies of His continuous victories in our lives.

Our only task is to relinquish control of the ball and get out of His way. He is our bulldozer and He promises to put our enemies beneath our feet and to leave them seeing stars in His wake. He plays for you with a zealous love that is unquenchable. So cheer loudly for Him, because you got this.

The God of peace will soon crush Satan underneath your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (Romans 16:20)

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