Luck, Manning, and a Lesson for the New Year

Erik Cooper —  January 3, 2013 — 3 Comments

I’ve been fortunate enough to be in the stadium for a majority of the Indianapolis Colts home games over the last 25 years. It’s been a wild ride to say the least.

There were the lean years:

Playoffs? Don’t talk about – playoffs?! You kidding me?! Playoffs?!

The “almost” years:

Can anyone else still close their eyes and see that Jim Harbaugh to Aaron Bailey hail mary that almost sent us to the ’95 Super Bowl?

And then came that guy they call Peyton:

Superbowls.
MVPs.
Passing records.
TV commercials.
Prime time games.
ESPN specials.
League envy.
Unmatched civic pride.
Perfection.
Everything our city had hoped for so long.

So as I watched a fearless Andrew Luck drop a 70-yard bomb right on the fingers of a streaking T.Y. Hilton this past Sunday afternoon, why was I thinking this might be the most satisfaction I’ve ever had as a Colts fan? Infatuation with the now? The emotional surge of Coach Pagano’s leukemia story? Manning-era heresy?

I don’t know.

Because of Chuck Pagano’s inspiring journey, the Colts dream season is the obvious talk of Sports Nation. But there’s something about the way this Luck kid has stepped into the shadow of football royalty that is worth noting. Something that is very attractive. Something we might all want to consider for ourselves heading into the New Year.

Andrew Luck

As I pray, dream, and contemplate 2013, a couple old “friends” keep coming back to haunt me. Two visceral, driving forces that can easily dominate my life, trip me up, and get me off track:

I desperately want to be right.

(and)

I really want you to like me.

On the surface these seem like noble aspirations. I mean really, should we shoot for being wrong? Should we aspire to be hated? (I’m not running for political office here). But when these underlying urges begin to dictate our actions, conversations, and responses, life gets complicated, heavy, calculated – fearful.

If Andrew Luck had ridden into town on a wagon full of paranoia, there’s a good chance we’d be fighting Kansas City for that number one pick in the draft again this off-season. Instead, it seems he’s decided he’s OK being – Andrew. Throw a few too many ugly interceptions. Give some rather dorky media interviews. Hang out with fans at downtown pubs after games.

Sure, you weren’t the first pick in the draft, but what if you were that comfortable in your own skin this year? What if you embraced your mistakes? Said more of what you were really thinking? Showed people more of your true self than is probably prudent? What if you stopped bowing to the idols of perfection and comparison? 

How would you live differently in 2013 if you knew all the acceptance and love you will ever need were already yours?

‎”So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?”

—Rom. 8:31 MSG

You don’t have to be a budding NFL quarterback. In Christ, you are a son not a slave. You can live in courage instead of fear.

2013 is here. Let’s get to it.

3 responses to Luck, Manning, and a Lesson for the New Year

  1. Great post Erik. Being right can cause you not to risk, and being liked can keep you from following your path!

  2. dig this post Eric.

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