30 January 2009

life…as a series of comebacks

The Super Bowl is this weekend. Americans will gather around televisions to eat, cheer, and eat some more. Apparently, we’ll eat more than a billion chicken wings on Sunday. And then there is the Meat Weave/Bacon Explosion/Meat Missile that is making the rounds…

Heart-attack inducing foods aside, this weekend’s football game will probably feature a comeback or two. At the least, there will be the threat of a comeback. That will, in a trite way, make a meaningless football game a lot like life.

When we look back, isn’t life just a series of comebacks. I can think of about a thousand different comebacks I’ve been a part of in the last few years. In relationships, there are comebacks (and make-ups). In school, there are comebacks (and miracles on final exams). In careers, there are comebacks (and promotions). In ministry, there are comebacks (and movements of the Holy Spirit).

Sometimes, the greatest moments in life are the ones when the comebacks didn’t take. There are break-ups, failures, lay-offs, and closed doors. Still, each obstacle is an opportunity for innovation. And, in hindsight, there are lessons in all of life’s steps and missteps.

So on Sunday evening, when Kurt Warner starts to bring the Arizona Cardinals back from the jaws of defeat, take a moment to appreciate the comeback in a little bit deeper way.

I’ll be watching the game with my wife, who once was angry and staged a comeback to be the sweetest woman on earth. My sister-in-law will be there, a former approval junkie who has come back as a God-honoring servant. My cousin will be there, a disaster that God has reclaimed as a vessel of grace and beauty.

I’ll be there too. I was once a womanizing, drunk, self-concerned, self-destructive train-wreck in a nicely managed exterior. God intervened. There was a comeback. Surrounded by the blessings of a wife I don’t deserve and a daughter that I cannot begin to comprehend, I will smile. God loves an underdog. I love a good comeback.

What is your comeback story?


  1. a disaster, huh?! i've haven't been called that since.....well, neverind...no need to go there! thanks buddy...i look forward to scarfing down about 57 hot wings on sunday and concocting variations to the meat weave recipe. God does indeed love the underdog!

  2. No need to be offended J.R. ...we were all disasters. Or some of us still are. I know that I was. "Hi. My name is Kerrie - and I'm a disaster." Disaster's Anonymous. I used to be in that club.

  3. What a great post! I love to read something so encouraging and raw. A true honest opinion from personal experience and observation is so over-looked these days and generally passed off as you just being dramatic or needing some attention.

    My comeback:

    I once thought i was all that i needed to be a man, be a husband, and be a father until i found my relationship utterly destroyed from the proceedings of a temporary hearing just prior to a divorce that end the end was not wanting to complete. As the judge speaks her final plea against these proceedings and her urge to reconcile that i find myself contemplating my families life apart that i am opened up enough to see my failure.

    Through Gods grace and understanding my family still remains and i stage my comeback to be the man, husband, and father my family deserves.

  4. Welcome back to the world of individual blogs!!

    Great post, a very welcome return to the thought provocation that is the post karmic stream!