You can’t call time out as you play the game of life

By Bob Wachs
Posted 11/29/18

Sometimes, life is a funny thing.Not “ha ha” funny, but “interesting” funny.We live in the present, reminisce about the past and look forward to the future – sometimes, …

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You can’t call time out as you play the game of life

Posted

Sometimes, life is a funny thing.
Not “ha ha” funny, but “interesting” funny.
We live in the present, reminisce about the past and look forward to the future – sometimes, seemingly, simultaneously. And we do it about all manner of things in life – people, places, events and such and at different levels depending on their importance.
Case in point…and this example means absolutely nothing if you don’t care anything about sports in general, college football more particularly and UNC football specifically.
A few days ago, the university’s administration fired its football coach. Too many losses, especially to rivals, and too many empty seats in Chapel Hill on Saturdays, which translated to too much lost revenue opportunity, spelled Larry Fedora’s doom. That incident reinforced to me my oft-stated sentiment that I would not want to be a football coach and have my success depend on what a group of 18- to 20-year-olds might or might not do on any given Saturday.
However, in the days when I wore a younger man’s clothes – and they were smaller sizes than what I wear now – I lived and died by the success of the football team at said university. A loss on Saturday sent me into a week-long funk. I’ve sat outside in Kenan Stadium in a driving rainstorm to watch a bunch of guys run up and down a field kicking and throwing the pigskin.
It was life.
Then.
In time, however, I realized, at least for me, that while sports and games are fine, there’s more to life than the final score on Saturday or on Tuesday night for the basketball team.
There is the Final Score.
Of life.
I say all that to say that the next day after the coach was fired his replacement was named and it turned out to be a fellow who had been there some years before . . . sort of a “back to the future.” When I heard the news about Mack Brown’s return, my mind went back to some of the days when the just-hired coach was there, as well as when some of his predecessors roamed the sidelines, and when I did live and die by those games. Some of them were glory days and some were gory days.
But then it didn’t take long for my mind to wander to thoughts of people and places and events and things of the past much bigger than a football coach or game and to think of them in the light of life in today’s world.
Obviously, many of them aren’t here, gone on, passed away, torn down, replaced – old friends, family members, stores and buildings, my high school, the Mustang I bought as my first car. It dawned on me that there are thousands of people alive today who have never dialed a rotary phone or used a manual typewriter, just like I’ve never plowed with a mule or read by a kerosene lamp.
What’s it all mean? Maybe that nothing stays the same, that change is the only thing that’s constant, that there’s only so much time and we should use it wisely.
The past is gone; the future isn’t promised; all we have is today. It is God’s gift to us; that’s why it’s called the “present.” May we make good use of it.

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