03 September 2020 Pastor Rick: Don’t Be a Punt Muffer!
by Pastor Rick Henderson
Last week I got to do one of my favorite annual activities—a fantasy football draft. The event was hosted by Robert Nash. By the way, if you want an event done right ask a Kid’s Ministry Pastor. You don’t have to appreciate fantasy football, or even care for sports to connect with why I love a fantasy football draft party.
I was surrounded by fun-loving people. It’s a playful and competitive atmosphere. There is the challenge of trying to make a better strategic decision than everyone else, while everyone is limited to the exact same information. And of course, there is good-natured ribbing and sarcastic banter. If you’re curious, my team name is Punt Muffers.
If you don’t speak football, muffing a punt is when someone fails to catch a ball that has been kicked to them. It’s a funny-sounding term to describe what happens when someone misjudges a key play. There are more than a few comedic expressions for misjudging key plays in life, though there is nothing funny about it. Our culture seems to be growing more and more prone to misjudgments because of our affection for rushing to judgment. When you combine that with our commentary-coated information streams, we are ripe for misjudgments.
I’m a raving fan of the Old Testament book of Proverbs. There is one verse that always stings, yet holds a word of caution I’ve come to cherish.
Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. (Proverbs 18:2)
I don’t know which I love more, my opinions or sharing them with others. I’m sure my wife has some insight into that one! As I reflect on this verse, I’m forced to come to grips with my infatuation with my own viewpoints. Truth be told, not all of them are well-informed. Any fool can judge, but the wise seek to understand.
Seeking to understand takes time. It requires diligence and patience. It requires denying ourselves the endorphin rush of outrage. It requires sifting through information and misinformation. It necessitates finding not just the facts, but the full framework in which those facts fit together. Unfortunately, understanding often requires listening to people and perspectives we’d rather ignore.
The invitation to air opinions is constant. People, news outlets, and social media daily kick something new our way. Let’s be people who delight in understanding. The ball is in the air. It’s falling to you and to me. What are we going to do?