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“We knew that he was going to motion down with the inverted split.  And once he motioned down, we knew that number one was going to wide-depart and run to the sticks.”

Any clue who might have said this, and what they were talking about?

  1. Air traffic controller at Dulles in D.C. during the snow storm this week.
  2. A physicist explaining why the Large Hadron Particle Collider broke.
  3. Jack Bauer on 24, describing the actions of the Russian mafia.

How about Tracy Porter, the cornerback for the New Orleans Saints, who made the interception and touchdown that ended the Colts’ typical comeback in the Super Bowl.  (Apologies to Colts fans.  Believe me, I understand.  I still haven’t recovered from the David Tyree catch in Super Bowl XLII – how Eli didn’t get sacked is beyond me.)

Porter’s description of this key play was unintelligible to anyone except football coaches and players.  I thought he might say, “I just made a good play on the ball, caught it and ran it in.”  His explanation showed that there was a lot going on in that play, a lot of things that he was seeing.

His explanation pointed directly to preparation, not just athletic skill.

I’m sure that sitting in a dark room, repeatedly watching films of your opponent, being lectured by your coach is not very exciting for an athlete.  It requires a lot more intention, focus and discipline than just playing the game.  I suspect that it is easier when you do it because of a vision you have about the outcome.  I wonder if Porter imagined making that play as he watched the film?

How do followers of Christ prepare to make key plays?  Do we even realize that we have the opportunity to make key plays?

For me, any time that I spend with God in prayer and study is prep time.  It’s more than that even.  Sometimes a private prayer is the key play.  I have to admit, though, it’s not always exciting.  I don’t always feel a buzz of holy enthusiasm.  Many times I do it because I’ve planned to do it.  Matter-of-fact, if I don’t have a plan, it’s guaranteed that I will not spend time with God.  If I wait until I’m inspired, it will be rare and very sporadic. 

Also, anytime we spend with others, studying, discussing, learning, praying is also great prep time.  When we gather on Sunday morning we do both prep and  make plays. We make plays in how we worship a great God, and in how we interact with one another, welcoming, encouraging, listening, laughing. 

How do you prepare to make plays?  What are some of your best habits of prep?  How do you give God the best opportunity to be your coach?

Believe me, people around  you need you to be prepared to make key plays.  Your family, your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors, your community.  They all need you to be well-prepared, well-coached.

Oh, by the way, making good plays is pretty exciting. 


  1. Good stuff!

  2. Recently I have been praying for full coverage protection. Think Eph 6. The full armor of God. I have asked God to show me areas in my life of vulnerability, and provide me with coverage on those areas while they still remain unseen to me. Maybe in sports terms you could call that your 'blind side'. Great movie by the way. Think of the armor: Helment, check. Boots, check. Chest guard, check. What about those spots we don't think about. Under the arm pits, or behind the knee. An attack on that blind spot could bring the player down no matter how much padding the shoulders have on… am I making sense here? Just what came to mind as I re read your blog.