Last night, as I was watching Dallas get beaten, or beat themselves, against the NY Giants, this question was posed to me. I have quite a few snippy remarks that I could have made, but instead I found myself speechless. We came to the conclusion that they are protected from the defense. There are pretty high penalties to pay if you hit a quarterback too hard or too late or too low…higher penalties than if you were to hit one of the offensive linemen or running backs or receivers. As I was walking through my day today, this question kept running through my mind. I remember in high school I always seemed to have a crush on the quarterback, and that has traveled with me.
Girl moment aside, I think that there is a great spiritual truth going on here. After Israel had decided that it no longer wanted to be a theocracy, they chose Saul to be their king. He was handsome, had a lot going for him, looked like the best choice to be a king. I’m sure he was pretty smart in ways that were necessary back then. He could wow the ladies with his charm and the men with his battle stories. That turned out pretty badly for Israel, since he turned out to be a raving lunatic. Then they got David. God chose David, and from the accounts I read, though he was the least of his family, he was pretty talented. He killed Goliath, lions and bears. He was very musical. He was “ruddy,” and ruddy men can be rather attractive. He was humble (aside from calling himself a man after God’s heart) and tried to serve Saul, even when Saul was trying to kill him. He did not take his post as king until after Saul died. Even after Saul died, he honored Saul by taking care of Jonathan’s lame son and his family for the rest of their days.
So, why do we choose leaders (that’s what a quarterback’s role is on a team…to be a leader) who are attractive? Perhaps we want people that show our best side. Perhaps we want someone who doesn’t make us gag when we turn on CNN. Perhaps we just have an innate desire to be led by people who at least look, sound, appear to be stronger than we are.
I recently read on Mark Batterson’s blog that Tommy Barnett said, “You can’t reach people who have more vision than you.” Perhaps we see in the people who lead us people who have more vision than us. A quarterback has to have a game plan in his head for the entire game, not just play by play. Of course he has a coach to assist him, but he has to know his abilities and sell his ability to the team. Last night, Drew Bledsoe did not do that for his team and was removed after the first half. I’ve had pastors who initially seemed like they had vision for the whole world. Upon closer examination, their vision was for their own edification and not for the edification of the body. Once that idea became fact through action, I knew it was time to leave.
So, why are all quarterbacks pretty boys? Because we want something for which to strive. It’s not necessary to strive for ugly, for weakness. It is necessary to strive to live a better life, to be better than I am, to grow more vision within me, to reach potential that is great than I.
**edit** It occured to me as I was writing this that I used to joke that it is dangerous to speak to a pastor because eventually the conversation will end up in a sermon. Perhaps it is equally dangerous to speak to a blogger for the same reason 🙂