The Drop Heard Round The World
Poor Jack. Jack was at the front of the line just outside the Apple Store in Perth, Australia. Perth is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the U.S. which meant Jack was strategically positioned to be among the first in the world among all the rabid early adopters to receive the new iPhone 6. Naturally these new iPhone’s are in short supply so people are camping outside Apple stores all over the world. The doors opened, money was paid and young Jack emerged with the shiny new piece of tech hidden so beautifully beneath a white box and lid. All that remained was for Jack to remove the iPhone from its case and hold it high for all the envious world to see. The crowd was breathless with anticipation as he fiddled with the box lid. The Perth reporter was practically on top of him as the TV camera zoomed in to catch the first glimpse of the rare beauty in public. This was Jack’s fifteen minutes of fame… Yes, Jack is famous, but not for the reason he had hoped. You see instead of the smooth lift and triumphant pose he was hoping for something else happened. He dropped it. Yep. With all the cameras and all the crowds and all the attention Jack biffed it big time. It’s difficult to see if his face turned red on the news clip below, but Jack was dying a thousand deaths. It would have been like Rafiki the monkey accidentally dropping baby Simba from Pride Rock after the epic Circle of Life music gathers every animal from creation to watch (You probably need to be reminded of how epic the beginning of Lion King is so click here Circle Of Life). It would have been like Peyton Manning, one of the all time great quarterbacks in football history, missing the first snap in Super Bowl 48 resulting in a Safety allowing the fastest score in Super Bowl history to benefit the Seahawks! Oh wait… that’s exactly what happened (You probably need to be reminded of how epic the beginning of Super Bowl 48 was so click here Safety Heard Around The World)! Now, Jack Cooksey and his iPhone 6 will be added to the pantheon of epic fails that so often fill our lives (If you didn’t see the moment you watch it here Drop Heard Round The World).
I had to laugh when I saw Jack’s fumble because I totally picture myself doing the very same thing. There have been so many epic fails in my life. That moment when I could have listened to my wife but instead I argued my point to prove I was right and revealed how wrong I truly was. That moment when I could have tried to see where my son was coming from, but out of anger and frustration and just wanting obedience, I yelled. That moment when I knew God was asking me to share His hope with a stranger but I blew Him off because I was either too busy or too embarrassed to speak up. I’m realizing that these points in my life where I have dropped the ball matter a whole lot more then an iPhone or even a Super Bowl game ever will. These moments of obedience to the Spirit of the Living God are about an eternal impact on the human soul and the healing or brokenness that inevitably follows. Most of the time these moments come with no fan fare, no TV cameras, no crowds looking on (thankfully). Time and again my Coach, the God of mercy, has come to me and called me back into the game when I thought for sure He would never let me back on the field.
I can’t help but think of that moment between Jesus and Peter sitting on the shore of Galilee after His Resurrection as described in John 21. Jesus had just made them breakfast and they were sitting around the fire just as they had done so many times before. Everyone was talking. Everyone that is except the most verbal one of the bunch. Peter was sitting quietly. He couldn’t hear any of the talk that morning. The denial heard around the world was no doubt a deafening ringing in Peter’s ears. He had had his epic opportunity to stand up for Jesus, but instead denied and distanced himself from Him. He hadn’t dropped the ball once, or even twice, but three times in a row. Jesus looked Peter in the eyes to get his attention. Jesus had to ask Peter three times in a row if he loved Him just to drown out the guilt and shame that now weighed him down like a wet wool blanket. With each question Jesus restored the severed relationship and simultaneously brought renewed purpose. Peter was loved. Peter had failed. Peter was learning all about grace. Now Peter was commissioned by Jesus Himself to pass on what he has learned through his failures to every other person who felt as he did.
So many around us feel they have done too much, gone too far, and passed the point of no return. That’s why we are in their lives. The Church of the Epic Fail is the Church of the God Who Forgives is the Church the world needs to know is right here in their neighborhood, their office cubicle, their carpool, and their local sports team. If the message is in the mess then let’s not let our drops, our fumbles, or our denials keep us quiet when it comes to the God of infinite grace!