Cornerback may be the toughest position in all of professional football. It is not merely a matter of the skills needed or the challenges faced—it is because cornerbacks are so utterly exposed. Most of the time, corners are asked to match up against the opposition’s best receivers, and to do so one-on-one. Sure, there are times when defenses will go into zone coverages, cover-two defenses, double-teams, and the like. But the cornerback is usually on his own. To be a corner in the NFL is to spend most of your time on an island, where every failure is magnified because it takes place out in the open for everyone to see. It is the kind of isolation that can be hard for some players to deal with. It’s tough to feel like you are fighting the battle alone.
Sometimes, as followers of Christ, we can also feel like we’re fighting the battles of life alone. We can feel exposed and even abandoned—as if the entire outcome depends on us, and we don’t have any help. If you’re feeling alone and isolated today, I would encourage you to remember two things. First, Christ is still there. He has promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrew 13:5 NKJV). The promise of Christ that He will never abandon us is a huge thing—and a promise we should not quickly forget. Second, the body of Christ is there. As fellow Christ followers, we need one another and need to be willing to turn to one another in those times when we feel cut off and alone. The writer of Hebrews helps us here as well, when he writes, “let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25 NASB).
We need to embrace a sense of responsibility for one another, to help and encourage one another, so that none of us feels abandoned or alone. We were not created for isolation but for community. So, when we are hurting, we need to reach out to Christ and to His people. And when others are hurting, we should seek to help. None of us should feel we are alone on an island. We all share the need for community.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain