Blaming God

Posted on November 30, 2010

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We dream of it.

We yearn for it.

In backyards throughout America, kids constantly act it out. Over and over again.

The BIG moment. Our chance to shine in the spotlight and become the hero we’ve always dreamed of becoming. You know the scenario. Your team is down. Time is running out. The quarterback heaves a long pass that you heroically snatch from the sky and convert into the game-winning touchdown!

Steve Johnson and the Buffalo Bills followed the script masterfully. Except for one little detail.  As the game-winning pass approached Johnson, the Wide Receiver did something inexplicable.

He dropped the pass.

The Pittsburgh Steelers regained their composure long enough to enable the newly-signed Shaun Suisham to step in and follow the sports glory script by kicking a game-winning field goal.

Afterwards, the gravity of the situation weighed heavily on Johnson, as he realized that failing to catch the pass had cost his team a much-needed win. Johnson said,“I had the game in my hands and I dropped it…I’ll never get over it. Ever.”

In that situation, you feel for the guy. Unfortunately, Johnson doesn’t get the benefit of the backyard “do over”, like the commercial where the kid playing basketball in his driveway misses the last-second shot, only to announce afterwards “He was FOULED!!” and get a second chance at glory.

I blogged a few weeks ago about athletes who thank God after a big win. This is something that people seem to either love or hate. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen anyone take the approach Johnson employed after his gaffe. Instead of taking responsibility, Johnson sent a Tweet to God, saying:

Stevie Johnson 

@StevieJohnson13Stevie Johnson
I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…

Hmmm, looks like Johnson is planning on taking his toys and going home. Someone might want to take his iPad away and have a man to man talk with Stevie.

In all kinds of real-life situations, John Cougar Mellencamp says “There are winners. And there’s losers. But they ain’t no big deal”. Looks like Johnson got the short end of the stick in this situation. But if it is, in fact, God’s fault he dropped the pass. It’s also God’s fault that Johnson plays football at the highest level on earth and that he gets paid $388,380 a year to do so. While that’s not much in comparison to the big name athletes, there aren’t many people in America who would turn that down.

But let’s keep a couple of things in mind here. Johnson is a 24-year old guy. He’s human. I’ve done some pretty dumb things in my life and have to admit that I’ve occasionally asked God why things have happened a certain way and what the heck He wanted me to learn from it.  It’s easy to point out the mistakes others make. But God still sees what WE are doing. And we are accountable.

In this age of traditional and social media reporting on every little thing, both our successes and failures are magnified to unrealistic proportions. Let’s hope Steve Johnson actually does get over it and that he makes things right with God.

What mistakes have you made or pain have you suffered that have led you to question God’s plan for your life? How did you deal with it? What did you learn from the situation?

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