Saturday, December 8, 2012

Just a Keepin’ on Goin’

In my senior year of high school I went out for football.  I weighed 100 pounds, two pounds more than my football uniform.  I was used as water boy, tackling dummy, on the chain gang and keeper of timeouts.  I played briefly in one game that we lost.  At the sports night banquet I sat while others won their awards.  Nearly everybody who played on the team got some award of higher or lower achievement.  At the end of the presentations, as we were getting ready to be dismissed, Coach Carmichael said, “There is one other award to be given.  Will Clarence come up front, please?”  I was as surprised as the other team members but after I’d gotten up front the coach said, “This award to be given to Clarence is given, not because he started any games or scored touchdowns or made fantastic plays.  He is given this award because out of all the players on this team he is the only one who never missed a practice or a game.  He is my ideal of the true sportsman.”
Well, I’d like to say I got a full scholarship to college or was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys or made the cover of Sports Illustrated.  I didn’t get anything like that.  But I’ll tell you something I did get.  I got the reward of a lesson about determination, about not giving up (you should have seen the way those 220-pound Kansas farm boys tackled a 100-pound scared-out-of-his-wits kid who liked reading books a lot more than he did chasing footballs.) In my family life, my professional life as a minister, the hard rocky road of hard times and of failure and mistakes, I’ve kept alive the value of what my mother called, “Just a keepin’ on goin’.”  Now that I’ve lived long enough to gain enough weight to hold my pants up, I may just go back to my high school for a Friday night football game and get the coach to let me suit up.  About half way through the third quarter I’ll run out onto the field and hit one of those Kansas Jayhawking football players right in some tender place until he sees stars.  I’ll go back to the bench and say to myself, “Good goin’, Mom, you taught me how to do it.”

No comments:

Post a Comment