Lambeau Leap

I’m sure you have heard the phrase often used to encourage optimism and a positive, can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune…  “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!  Lemons suggesting sourness or difficulty in life; making lemonade as turning them into positive or desirable.  Such quick wisdom could be quite helpful or could ring hollow as overused cliche.

How about something grittier?  I’ll bet you have not heard this one… “When life gives you leg bracestrust God to leap!”  You couldn’t have.  I made it up when I read an article this week about a well-known football player, Leroy Butler of the Green Bay Packers, who was just voted into the NFL Hall of Fame!

Like many, I marveled at his excellent play on the Packers defense from 1990 thru 2001.  Have you ever seen players jumping into the stands after scoring a touchdown?  Leroy started that tradition of celebrating with fans in 1993.  It came to be known as a “Lambeau Leap“!

But I didn’t know, Leroy’s inspiring back story that’s grounded in adversity…He was born with extremely weakmisaligned feet bones which limited him to only walking short distances.  For much of his early childhood, his feet were in braces or casts.  “I had those Forrest Gump braces and was sitting around in a wheelchair.  In an inner city, single-parent home, you just figure you’re going to be stuck there the rest of your life.”

But thankfully it didn’t turn out that way,  While still in braces at age 8, he wanted to be a pro football player and would often talk to his mom and God about it.  “I kept telling the Lord, ‘If you get me out of these braces or make me fast enough, I’m going to play pro football.’

He did get out of the braces by age 9 and never looked back.  In fact, it could be said, through faith in God and lots of hard workLeroy leaped into the NFL Hall of Fame and God’s Hall of Faith, making a positive difference all along the way!  Let’s do similarly!

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials,
for we know they help us develop endurance.
And endurance develops strength of character,
and character strengthens our confident hope.
And hope will not disappoint us. Because God has poured
out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit given us.         Romans 5:3-5