thinking on your feet
To make matters worse, the team was backed up on its own third-yard line. It was a desperate situation, and the coach’s only thought was somehow to get a little farther from their goal line to give them room to punt out of danger.
Sending in the third-string quarterback, the coach said, "Son, I want you to hand off to the big fullback Kowaski for the next two plays, letting him run right into the middle of the line to get us a few yards of breathing room. Then I want you to punt."
The young quarterback did as he was instructed. On the first play he handed off to Kowaski, but almost miraculously Kowaski found a hole off tackle and ran for 50 yards. The young quarterback called the same play again, and once more (miracle of miracles), the hole opened again and Kowaski gained another 45 yards. The fans went crazy. In two plays they had gone 95 yards and the ball was on their opponent’s 2-yard line. It was first down and goal to go!
Confidently the team lined up once again. The young quarterback received the snap, then stepped back to everyone’s amazement, and punted the ball into the end zone. As his stunned teammates came off the field, the coach angrily grabbed the young quarterback and demanded, "What in the world were you thinking about when you called that last play?" The quarterback answered, "I was thinking what a dumb coach we have."
Perhaps you find that story ridiculous, for indeed it is. It's actually not as far-fetched as you may imagine, for many professional coaches today do not expect their quarterbacks to make decisions.
And yet I wonder... where in your week are you most tempted to be passive instead of active? What are the areas of life that you don't intentionally engage the moment and merely go an auto-pilot?
Granted, there is something to be said about when we need to follow someone's instructions literally. I've heard stories about soldiers whose lives were saved because when their commanding officer told them to "hit the deck" they ducked away from something they couldn't see (but their C.O. could).
The greater question, then, is are you able to not only follow instructions... but are you able to follow the POINT of those those instructions?