It officially became Fall last night. I say that because I attended the first high school football game of the new season. Tressa is living out what was once her dream—teaching at Denbigh and coaching the cheerleaders. So we were there to watch her working with her girls… for some reason, the image of “herding cats” comes to mind here! (If Tressa were writing this blog entry, it may be entitled “Careful what You Wish For”)
Although it was a brand new season, it was very much the same old Denbigh football team. There were some flashes of promise, but we got pushed around pretty well by Woodside in a 34-14 loss. And unless Woodside turns out to be very good, Denbigh may be looking at another very long season.
But the game itself was overshadowed by what happened with 5:00 minutes left in the second quarter. After a pretty routine play, the line judge—a man named George French— went down on a knee. The play had been run his way, and I thought maybe he had been bumped by one of the players. But then he just collapsed to the ground, falling over hard on his face. Within a few minutes the rescue squad was frantically performing CPR, and before long an ambulance came and took him to the hospital. He apparently had a heart attack, but as of this morning, there has been no word available on Mr. French’s condition. Keep him in your prayers.
The reaction insider the stadium during this drama was interesting. As you might expect, a hush came over the whole crowd when he collapsed. The other officials gathered around him, one frantically waving to the sidelines for help while another walked about 15 yards away and went down on one knee in obvious prayer. After a brief minute, the announcer in the press box haltingly said, “Uhhh.. now for some scores from some other games.” And in very few minutes, the crowd was back to buzzing and Tressa was back to fussing at her cheerleaders.
You never know when the routine of life will become very un-routine. James says, “You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing” (James 4:14, The Message). We know that… but we don’t seem to live like we know that. We live our lives as if the daily grind is all that matters. But we never know when a routine play (or day at work or short drive or whatever) will turn into a life and death drama. That happened last night at Todd Stadium. It can happen today wherever we happen to be. We must live our lives above the routine so that we will be ready when the routine is shattered.