Say you have a hobby. Your regular job is in the corporate world but, on the weekends, you referee low-level football games. The 2012 NFL season arrives and the usual refs are locked out. Your friend tells you to apply to be a replacement. You do and you make the cut. One night, you are stationed in the end zone watching the final pass of the game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks as it flies towards you.
Both Seattle and Green Bay players catch the ball at the same time. You call a touchdown and, suddenly, your life is changed forever.
Yahoo Sports posted a great article profiling Lance Easley, the referee involved in the play I mentioned above, now known as the “Fail Mary.” Easley was a family man, a believer, and a guy taking a chance to do a job on the biggest stage in football. His incorrect call drew vast criticism, as far as getting mentioned by President Obama on the campaign trail.
You can find the article here. Even if you are not a fan of sports, I recommend reading it.
Easley is now suffering from PTSD and severe depression. His wife of almost thirty years left him. He has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals and rehab centers, receiving numerous death threats after the game. He is on medical leave from his corporate job and struggles financially to make ends meet. As the article says, the only thing remaining of the old version of the man is his faith.
The lesson is an important one. We all have moments where we are on our own stage and our choices, right or wrong, carry consequences. Healing takes time, sometimes years, but it will happen. The fight to silence our worst critic, the voice inside, can be overwhelming. We must know where we stand, even if we write it down and read it every morning as a reminder. The truth can always silence the noise.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10