The Quarterback

“I may not have tomorrow, friend,” my neighbor said to me,
“Because I’ve got a swingy case of MS now, you see;
But I have got today – I’m feeling fine, and this I know:
I may not have tomorrow, got today, so off I go.

“When I wake I check myself out just to know the score
If it’s a bad one I roll over happy just to snore.
I lie around, soak up the sun, just putter ’round the place
I’m glad I’m on this side of grass, a part of human race.

“When I wake up, just like today, and find I’m feeling fine,
I celebrate this chance to run the business that is mine.
I love the people, joking round, and serving them with care,
Then coming home at quitting time to find my family there.

“It is not what I had in mind as high-school football star;
But, hey, it’s worked out for us all – exceeded hopes by far.”
As he went off to work that day I doubt he had a clue
The impact he would have on me, as I seek what to do.

It’s thirty years since summer day he said those words to me –
We each had different rows to hoe despite expectancy.
But as those words come back to me and I resume my life
I thank you, Lord, for neighbors back before my time of strife.

I may not have tomorrow, yet like him, I have today;
A day I never thought I’d see through errors’ troubled way.
As sun wakes up this world once more, I wonder what I’ll see
Tomorrow’s plans and worries less important now to me.

Lord, help me live just as he did with football player’s drive
And fill this day, one eye on him, as each with vigor strive
To do our part within this world of wonder you have made
And feel content to let it go when down to sleep I’ve laid.

I asked the doctor back last year who quarter back would be
Through troubled times of cancer, ’cause I knew it was not me.
I soon found out it would not be the medics here and there,
Nor you, Lord, that’s not how you work as you show us your care.

Instead, this morning, as I wake and take a look around
My neighbor’s words come back to me – my quarterback I found.
I do not even know if he still lives here with us all
It doesn’t matter, for to me, my hero’s ten feet tall.

He walked this earth, played out his game, and may still do, I guess,
But he’s inspired me to press on despite my present mess.
It’s easier to follow flesh and blood through troubled times
Than concepts, thoughts, inspiring dreams, here on life’s scrimmage line.

I guess that’s why you mean so much to me, Lord, every day –
Because you showed us we could live a Spirit-powered way;
Not just with thoughts and dreams and schemes, but guided through our life;
And now you’re gone – yet with us now – with others in our strife.