God's MVP

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The National Football League stars that grab headlines today are quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers; but according to Michael Lewis’s latest book, the ones who grab the second-highest paychecks are left tackles.

In The Blind Side, Lewis tries to explain the importance of these anonymous but essential offensive linemen. He traces this emerging trend back to the career-ending injury of star quarterback Joe Theismann on Monday Night Football in 1985. More than 17 million people watched as the incredibly athletic linebacker Lawrence Taylor blindsided Theismann, breaking his leg.

Let Tackle's Job

The left tackle’s job is to protect the quarterback from getting blindsided. Since most quarterbacks are right-handed, the left tackle fills that role. And with this next generation of athletic linebackers, it takes a special person to do it. Left tackles must weigh more than 300 pounds and have long arms to block, but still be quick on their feet. Today teams are willing to pay for such a player. By 2004 the average left tackle salary was $5.5 million a year. Only starting quarterbacks earn a higher average salary. The role of the left tackle is literally to be his “brother’s keeper.”

Because of his response to God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” it’s obvious that Cain would have made a lousy left tackle. But what about the Adventist Church today? Are we taking our job on God’s spiritual field of looking out for our fellow brothers and sisters seriously? Do we make caring for their needs and their well-being one of our top priorities?

The question we need to ask ourselves is: Are we truly filling our role as left tackle? If not, perhaps we need to learn a lesson from the mistakes of Cain—or even the Monday Night Football game.

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By Sam McKee. Reprinted with permission from  the Adventist Review, November 23, 2006. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.