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I Lost Sleep Last Night...

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

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“You can’t make this up. I feel terrible. I let the team down. That’s on me. I have to own it. I have to be a man. Unfortunately, that’s the way it went today.” – Cody Parkey, Chicago Bears placekicker

I lost some sleep last night and here is why…

Having played thousands of softball and basketball games in prisons across North America, I can still remember – with great clarity – some of the more bitter and heart-wrenching defeats. For some reason, they stay with me a lot longer than the wins that far outnumber them.

And so, my heart went out to Cody Parkey, the placekicker for the Chicago Bears, who missed a potentially game-winning field goal attempt in Sunday night’s playoff game against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles. Parkey had already made three field goals that game, but it is the one he missed when the game was on the line that fans, the media and Cody himself will always remember.

The other reason why I lost some sleep last night is that God woke me up to give me the idea for this devotional message. I believe with all my heart that He wanted me to write a tribute to Cody and the way he handled the agonizing loss.

Here is what Cody did immediately after his tipped kick hit the left upright, bounced off the crossbar, and tumbled to the ground…

1. He didn’t make excuses, but instead shouldered the blame (see quote above).
2. After the miss, he pointed to the sky, acknowledging that God is still on His throne and worthy of praise, even when things don’t go our way.
3. Instead of running for cover and seeking shelter from the boo-birds, he removed his helmet and knelt in prayer at midfield with other believers from both teams.
4. He didn’t hide from the press; but gave a live interview and answered their questions openly and honestly.

Games, even championships, are won or lost every day. In the grand scheme of things, they are relatively inconsequential. However, the class, character, and faith that Cody Parkey demonstrated on and off the field will be remembered – and rewarded – for all eternity.

I only hope that I can – and will – handle future losses as graciously as he did.

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” Job 13:15 (KJV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

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