I’m not a huge fan of the Tennessee Titans. When I was living in
And now we have Vince Young, Vince “National Championship, 6’5”, 233 pound, VY, NFL Rookie of the Year, Cover of Madden ’08, Pro-Bowl in his first year” Young! Following a 467 yard performance in the ’05 national championship game Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott said "Vince Young is the greatest quarterback to ever play college football.” USC coach Pete Carroll said "that was the best performance I've seen by one guy." Young finished his senior season with 3,036 yards passing and 1,050 yards rushing. His first year in the NFL he had an unbelievable six game winning streak at one point as a rookie starter. Young, on top of the world.
VY has unreal scrambling skills. He is magic on 3rd and long or in any 4th quarter game that is even close! A thrill to watch – power and finesse and cunning all combined to make greatness. Perfect coverage can’t exist, because the defensive back has to keep one eye on the strong possibility that Young may take off on a run. He is a dual-threat quarterback with the possibility of recreating the role – a proto-type of QB’s to come.
Sometime along the way someone got in his head, “to be a great quarterback: they whispered in what must have sounded like a shout to him, “you have to be a great passer.” Early this season Young mimicked the naysayer by saying he wanted to be remembered as a great passer. And the result – disaster! Young has been awful this season. A young group of receivers no longer has the luxury of a running QB that gave them a cushion. The natural flow has been replaced by a reluctance, the result few yards rushing and a lot of incompletes and intercepts. Young is not using his talent.
I feel bad for Young (with his millions, I suspect he’ll be OK) but that’s just football.
I feel bad for Young but I understand. I had not been preaching long when I learned that many, if not most people, wish their preacher were someone else. They wish he was a previous preacher or a preacher they’ve heard on a lectureship, or seen on TV, or encountered in a meeting or revival. They wish he visited like Brother X or prayed like Brother Y or had the passion of Brother Z (and just in case you wonder there are 23 other letters we could ascribe a wish to). And, yes, Vince, I often found myself wishing I had the knowledge and scholarship of Brother A, or the zeal and recall of Brother B or the skill and soundness of Brother C. And sometimes I’ve tried to be them – always to the detriment of the abilities God gave me.
I feel bad for Young but I feel worse for the congregation that misses it’s most obvious opportunity for ministry, that can’t spot what it’s skills are and that wastes the talents God has placed there. That’s one of the real keys to church growth: identify what are your skills – friendliness, teaching, singing, families, supporting youth – and capitalize on them.
I feel bad for Young but (and here is why I’m writing) I feel worse for the Christian who has stopped using her strength: The saint that has allowed their gift to be benched, and their abilities to be sidelined. Friend, the church needs YOU and God has a plan and a place for you. He gave you what He gave you to use for Him – to return it to the Giver. And, when you do, you’ll find a satisfaction like none other. When you try to be what you are not you short-circuit His grand scheme for you. Get in the game – run the ball (both you and Vince)!