Checking the Numbers

From the Playbook:

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Coach’s Challenge:

“Truth is knowing that your character is shaped by your everyday choices.” Vince Lombardi

“Jesus is coming. Are you ready?” Reggie White asked the opposing player as they lined up at the line of scrimmage. Players and fans considered it Reggie’s means to intimidate, but often he was only taking the opportunity to find out if the player knew the Lord.

While playing with the Philadelphia Eagles before he came to Green Bay, Reggie kept asking that question of a Detroit Lions’ lineman who cursed him every time they lined up against each other. At one point, just before the ball was snapped, Reggie snarled, “Here comes Jesus!” With a single shove on that play, he sent the man back five yards. Whenever Buddy Ryan, the coach, needed a big play from Reggie, he’d yell, “Get out there and tell ’em Jesus is coming!”

For six seasons, we loved to chant “Reggie! Reggie!” in Lambeau Field and watch him burst through an offensive line with his swatting club move and wrap up the quarterback in an amazing sack. He attained 198 sacks before his retirement from the NFL. His three sacks of Patriots’ quarterback Drew Bledsoe helped the Packers win Super Bowl XXXI. When I met Reggie, he seemed twice my height and three times as wide. He was huge. And kind. And a man of God.

Reggie had no problem reconciling Christianity and football. He eagerly stood on the nationwide platform that professional football provided and shared his faith. Known as the Minister of Defense, he prayed for teammates and led both teams in prayer after every game.

The Packers retired Reggie’s number 92 as did the Philadelphia Eagles, where he spent seven seasons. The University of Tennessee, his alma mater, also retired his number 92.

Reggie knew to number his days. Perhaps he had a sense that his life would be cut short. He died of a deadly combination of sarcoidosis and sleep apnea when only 43. Perhaps he determined to not miss a single moment of life sharing the love of Jesus, enjoying the goodness of God, and seeking to obey Him in all he felt called to do.

What does “number our days” mean to you? We often think the instruction is to be wise about how we spend our time, to not waste it. That, indeed, is good advice. In the Hebrew, the word conveys a deeper meaning: to appoint. Make each day an appointment to fulfill God’s calling, to hear His voice, to pay attention to what’s important. More than not wasting the day, it means to make the day count, to mark it for good. Pay attention to those around you.

Do what is right. Do what is necessary. Direct the day to accomplish the plans and purposes God has placed within you. Enjoy each day, knowing God is guiding you.

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Your Turn

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by Judy DeCharme

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Judy DuCharme became a Packer fanatic in 1984. Through her Cheesehead Devotional series, she uses Packer events to lead readers into God s presence. Sometimes humorous and sometimes serious, Judy shows us that walking with God is as fun as watching a Packer game. Learn more about Judy at judithducharme.com.

About Be the Light Editor

Martin Wiles is a minister, author, freelance editor, and English teacher who lives in Greenwood, SC. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and is the author of Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions (www.christiandevotions.us) and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.

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