Wednesday Word – January 23

“We’re not that interesting. There’s nothing more to learn. The tape across the middle of the room story, OK, you got it? It’s OK. It was just like any other family, really. We get it, it’s really cool and it’s exciting and all that.” -John Harbaugh (Left)

“He’s a great football coach… I’m really proud of my brother. I love him. That’s the blessing part, that this is happening to him.” -Jim Harbaugh (Right)

Two brothers separated by only 15 months… John, 50 years old, and Jim, 49, have grown up being fierce competitors at everything they do. Whether it was playing football in the backyard, or an evening of cards inside the family home, the Harbaugh boys were passionate about winning! In two weeks, they will be coaching on opposite sidelines in the biggest game of their careers, and YOU KNOW (as well as they know) that their passion and intensity will be at an all-time high. It’s a big deal.. It’s important.. It IS a place in history after-all!

While some of the worlds greatest athletes will deliver bone-crushing hits, make impressive catches, and run with blazing speeds, these two brothers will be trying to out-maneuver, out-smart, and over-power the other for 60 minutes in football’s ultimate event. But guess what?! They’re BROTHERS.

We would HOPE that something as simple, as petty, and (eternally) insignificant as a game would never cause two brothers to have a rift between them.. cause strife in their relationship – in their family’s – and affect a bond that they’ve collectively had for nearly a century.

I have an (older) brother also. His name is Glen. And, yes, we had ‘heated’ games growing up.. I was always trying to raise my game to his level and, at one point in my life, felt that somehow, someday, I would ‘arrive’ and finally be as good, or better, than he. Did I ever get there? Ummmm, that’s to be determined (still). Today, we have a relationship that is truly God-given and a bond that I can never imagine being without. I love him. I love his wife. I love their little girl. I could have, years ago, focused on his intent to ‘out-do’ me over and over and let that set up a lifetime of hurt, of disappointment, and of resentment. But the little things just weren’t THAT important. They couldn’t hold a candle to the joy and abundance that we now share as adult men. We’re both still competitive, but there is a (profound) understanding of what’s truly important in life.

Maybe you don’t have a brother to ‘jar’ with. Maybe it’s a friend, a co-worker, a fellow believer, where that certain relationships is ‘strained’.. MAYBE consider asking yourself today: IS IT WORTH IT? Is it HUGE enough to impact the unity and the peace THAT much? A football game for the Harbaugh brothers… A video game for the Foster brothers. They’re a big-deal, at the time, but they certainly don’t carry the weight of a lifetime of importance and harmony that God desires. What are the things in your life that are keeping you from taking that deep breath and ‘releasing’ that (possible self-imposed) pressure? Offer grace. Offer forgiveness. Offer HOPE that will make an enormous difference in their life (and yours).

After-all, life really is a BIG GAME… But if you’re a believer, we’re not on opposite sidelines — Because of the cross, we’re very much on the same side, AND we’re related (like it or not)!


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