As we are so focused on football this time of the year, I thought I would post a story I first found years ago in the writings of Paul Powell. This particular version comes from Rev. Vincent Hefner, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Cherryville, N.C.
It was the final game of the season for a local high school football team. The entire community came out to see their hometown heroes play their arch rivals from across town. Another reason had the fans packed into the high school stadium, Leroy.
Leroy had been on the football team for four years and had never played a down. He practiced hard and was good for the team, and he didn’t seem to mind that he did not play in the games.
The crowd felt differently. They wanted to see Leroy get in the game, at least once before he graduated from high school.
When the fourth quarter was about over and just a few minutes were remaining the coach called for Leroy to come and stand by his side. The crowd went wild! The home team had the ball on the opposition’s 5 yard line. It was then that the coach called out the star running back and sent in Leroy. The crowd went ballistic chanting, Give the ball to Leroy!
The coach called, 22 Dive with a wiggle! which means, give the ball to Leroy to run behind the center. The defense lined up on the ball but the offense never broke huddle. Within a few seconds the referee blew his whistle and tossed his flag, Delay of Game, Offense, Five yards, repeat first down.
The coach sent in the same play, 22 Dive with a wiggle. By now you know what that means. The crowd was screaming, Give the ball to Leroy, Give the ball to Leroy! The referee blew the whistle for the game clock to start. The defense lined up on the ball, but the offense never broke huddle.
The crowd was screaming at the top of their lungs, Give the ball to Leroy! The referee reluctantly blew his whistle and threw another flag, Delay of Game, Offense! Again, the defense lined up on the ball, and as usual the offense did not break their huddle. Another flag, Delay of game on the offense.
Finally the quarterback called time out and walked to the middle of the field and took off his helmet. He motioned to the crowd to get quiet, cupped his hands around his mouth and said, Leroy said he doesn’t want the ball!
Spiritually speaking, many Christians will not take up the ball and do what they have been trained to do for Christ. It is easier to practice, cheer, stand on the sidelines and watch, but many don’t want to actually do anything that honors God. Some are afraid of making others angry, or being criticized. Is anything keeping you from doing what God has called you to do?
Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it!
85-ball-crowd.html. Paul Powell’s two joke books are here: http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php?id=146507 and http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/