10 Man Ride

As a lacrosse goalie, I could tolerate many things. Standing in the cold in early season games, opponents running their mouth after they scored on you, being slashed because you did not wear arm pads, and taking hard shots of your shins were a few of them. However, there is one thing I could not stand.

More than anything, I dreaded a play called “10-man ride.” The 10-man ride is when the goalie leaves the net and covers another team’s attackman while the opposing team attempts to clear the ball from the defensive to offensive end of the field. I took great pride in not allowing the other team to score and damage my personal statistics. The thought of leaving the net to aggressively try to get the ball back from the other team at the risk of giving up an easy goal never made much sense to me. I could not process how the 10-man ride play could ever be successful. Each time our coach would call out “TEN!” for our 10-man ride, I would cringe.

One of the most regrettable decisions I made as an athlete was in my senior year of college. It was a cold muddy day, we were losing, and my patience was wearing thin. I was frustrated that we weren’t playing well. Our midfielders played horrible defense, and we were giving up a lot of goals.

As our coach yelled out the play, everyone on the bench echoed it. I noticed all eyes on me as I had to leave the cage and go cover the other team’s attackman. Then, selfishness kicked in. Regretfully, I pretended I did not hear my coach. Everyone went where they committed to be, and I stood there selfishly not leaving the net. The player I was supposed to be guarding was wide open. He caught the ball, ran it in, and scored an easy goal. I refused to trust the game plan, and my defiance made it an even easier goal opportunity for the opponent. As everyone looked at me, all I could do was shrug my shoulders.

I have heard some people say that sin is like an arrow missing its mark. It pierces through something other than the target and can do a tremendous amount of damage. Sometimes, in our human nature, we miss the mark because of defiance and do not trust God. Defiance can make us shoot the arrow in a different direction than the target we aimed for and can cause great hardship in lives.

In the mountaintops and valleys life’s circumstances can create, everything has disappointed me except for my Christian faith. When I look at many tough situations in life, they often times can be traced back to me not doing things the way God would have wanted. Moments where I trusted my own instincts and desires instead of honoring God in decisions I made without the guidance of the Holy Spirit turned out to be disastrous.

The greatest moments of my life have often been a result of small steps of obedience to God that maybe only He observed. In today’s world, I believe Christianity has been passed over by many. As Christians, we need to be more intentional about aiming the arrow of God’s love to the individuals He directs us to instead of rebelling against His guidance and doing our own thing. When I look at my life, I want to know God’s game plan, trust Him each day, and pray that his voice and direction will overshadow my selfishness to help in this process.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”Jesus from John 10:27

Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.

More information can be found at FCA.org.