Priority One: Number Thirteen

I have another story derived from a football game and football players. Shocker, right? Anyway, we played Greenwood last night at home. Quite a few of our players got hurt, and one of them in particular had to be taken by the ambulance. He’s been my brother’s best friend forever, so I’ve known him and his family for a long time.

On any given Friday night, most of the football players have a similar list of priorities.

  1. Win the game.
  2. Parties.
  3. Maybe sleep or shower.

Basically, there isn’t much vitally important going on, although they would probably argue that the game is life or death. But last night, priority number one was number thirteen. They took his car to his house and his closest friends went up to the hospital in spite of the fact that they wouldn’t be allowed to see him. I went up there with my mom and brother today to find a waiting room full of football players.

It’s becoming increasingly easy to have mixed up priorities. I’m the type of person who literally tries to do everything, and it’s extremely difficult to decide which activities are the most important to me. But as I sat in the hospital waiting room, I looked around at the football players, including my brother, and thought about how often I had assumed that most of them had mixed up priorities. They would rather go to a party on Saturday night than wake up Sunday morning to go to church. They would rather go to sleep than finish their homework. They would rather hang out together than spend time with their family, and they would rather sit around doing nothing than volunteering. Yet here they were, sitting around a hospital waiting room on a Saturday morning/afternoon, and some of them on a Friday night.

It occurred to me then that they are going to grow up to be the men who put their wife and kids first. They’re going to grow up to be the men who pull over to give money to the homeless guy on the side of the road. They’re going to grow up to be the men who watch chick flicks with their daughter when they could be watching the game. They’re going to grow up to be the men who will get out of bed at three in the morning for the people they love, and they’re going to be the men with exactly the right priorities. Because when it matters most, they already have them. I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of them or more in awe of how much love they truly have for each other.

I hope I’m blessed enough to marry a man who will sit in a hospital when there are a million other things he could be doing. I hope that those boys continue to care the most about the people around them, and I hope that we are all able to grow up to realize what’s really important.  We weren’t created to be workaholics or find ways to put ourselves first. We’re here to love other people the way that those football players love each other, the way that Jesus loves us.

Keep all the boys in your prayers, especially Landon.

1 Corinthians 16:23-24,


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