Monday, November 04, 2013

Hail Mary Hope

Photo by Travis Heying

"In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer." -Albert Careb

Most every one of us have suffered through periods of time when all of the world appears against us. There is nothing that goes correctly and there is nothing you can seem to do right. You could call these times as being in which you are facing difficulties, misfortune or more appropriately adversity.

It seems during those times we have reached a point in which there is no winning. In American football, this would be the time in which we need to execute a Hail Mary play in our life. It is a down to the wire, last ditch effort desperation move to rectify what is not working in our lives.

An example in sports happened to the University of Nebraska college football team. It has been a year where declining hope and increasing adversity have seemed to mount. There have been lower then expected performances. There have been mounting injuries to many different starting players. There have been attacks in the media on the head coach Bo Pelini, both unprovoked and self-inflicted.

In fact, it had not been a very good couple of weeks for Bo (relative to his own football team) and the Pelini family in general. Additionally, a previous week's unexpected loss to another team, football players on the Cornhusker team getting provoked on social media sites added to the pressures leading up to this game against Northwestern University.

Adversity was all over the players, the coaches and the University of Nebraska football program.

The football game was not going as many expected or had hoped is a better way of stating it. The teams had battled most of the game with injuries on both sides. Time was coming close to an end in the fourth quarter and Northwestern was down on the Nebraska seven yard line, within scoring distance, within victory.

The game was tied up at 21 points each and all Northwestern had to do was score. A goal line stand by the Nebraska defense kept seven points off the score board and Northwestern had to settle for a three-point field goal. With only one minute and twenty-one seconds left, Nebraska faced what most everyone felt was an insurmountable task.

In the middle of a season dogged by all of the adversity, Nebraska faced a fourth-and-15 from its own 24.

It appeared that the season was now going to free fall into the jagged rocks below?

But the Cornhuskers kept driving and the quarterback somehow found his running back on a short pass. The running back made, what will be overshadowed by "the pass and catch" a run to achieve a first down and keep the drive; to keep hope alive.

Now with only four seconds left, this third string senior quarterback throws a 49-yard "Hail Mary" pass into a pack of defenders and receivers at the goal line. The ball is tipped up and back into the end-zone.

That is where a freshman wide receiver is waiting, grabbing hope, and changing the course of events.

We do not always need a desperation throw to change the course of our lives. And sometimes we do need to make that "Hail Mary" pass in order to overcome adversity. We shall see how the University of Nebraska football team responds and uses this event to change their course. But they've given themselves more hope. They have given themselves proof that they have the ability to overcome hardship.

And what you do with your "Hail Mary" pass is up to you. Will you allow the strength of overcoming adversity propel you to even greater achievement? Will you catch that pass and score success?

You will because I know you can.

Just as I believe in my University of Nebraska Cornhusker football team, I believe in you. Stay inspired my friends.

Now take a few moments to watch as a "Hail Mary" pass breathes hope into life and helps wash some of the adversity away.

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