I have a dear friend, confidant and brother who is an impact player. He loves the Lord and puts up with me. That, in my book, is enough to earn him a right to the tree of life. He has made an impact on so many lives, and has made an indelible imprint on mine. He continues to make a difference through his tears and sorrows, and his questions about tomorrow. He would kill me if I mentioned his name, but he knows who he is.
As an Eagles fan (that’s right, it’s pronounced “Iggles,”), I’ve come to the conclusion that if we are to have a chance at winning the NFC East and a Super Bowl in my lifetime, our impact players will have to “step up to ‘da plate.” LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Michael Vick must be “the big three” in Philly just as the Dallas Cowboys big three of Troy Aikman, Emmit Smith and Michael Irvin took control of games and won two Super Bowls in the ‘90’s.
I’m not a Dallas fan by any stretch of the imagination, or at least not anymore (I quit when Jimmy Jones fired Tom Landry; an unconscionable act), but I know sports, and these three were impact players of the first degree. Aikman, Irvin and Smith; a quarterback, a running back and a wide receiver; hmmmm. It sounds like Philly has the right pieces — we just need to put these pieces together.
The Bible is full of impact players who put it together. They trusted God and sacrificed themselves so that others would escape disaster and achieve triumph in this life, and the life to come. The writer of Hebrews puts it this way:
“For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets – who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated – of whom the world was not worthy . . . ” (Hebrews 11:32-38, RSV)
Impact players. They make everyone around them better. They play at the highest level all of the time. They are hated by their enemies and loved by their fans. And they aren’t concerned about who gets the credit, just as long as victory is won.
Are you an impact player?