Joe Cool

All my life, if it’s fall and it’s Sunday, then football is on TV in my house. I realize just the mention of this subject has evoked one of three responses for most of you: rolling eyes and moans — excitedly thinking “Yeah, who is my team playing this week?” — Manchester United is playing on Sunday? (okay— that one isn’t for a lot of you, but it’s prevalent in my current world.)

I love football, the kind with shoulder pads, helmets and the oblong ball. I grew up watching it with my dad, who taught me the game. I married a sports fanatic, which was good for me, since I’m one too.

Like all good fans, I have my favorite players. There is a long list, but the name at the top will never change: Joe Montana… Joe Cool.

If you decide to engage me in a conversation about the greatest quarterback of all time, stay in the shallow end. My friends will wave you off and it’s an act of compassion, I assure you. It’s not his statistics or four Superbowl rings. It’s not the finesse passes or West Coast offense genius.

It’s about when Joe played his best.

I only heard him talk about it once, in a little known interview he gave after The Drive (Superbowl XXIII), when asked what happens under that much pressure. He squirmed a bit at the question, but finally responded. He said the world just gets quiet. He doesn’t hear the crowd or the players. Everything slows down. His vision expands and he not only sees what every player is doing, but what every player is going to do.

Then he laughed nervously, shook his head and changed the subject. But it was too late. I had seen it. A peek inside a truth that transcended a sport.

It’s a 3-D picture that lives inside of me of what true peace and rest creates in the spirit. The whirlwind of circumstances ceases, the shouts of “What are you going to do?” go unheard. From that place, I not only see what God is doing, but what He is about to do. And the greater the stakes, the greater the quiet, expansive vision.

Thanks Joe Cool.



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