I am a football guy, and yet, I really cannot speak to the career of #94 on the football field.
For sure, he must have been a football player most of his young life.
Perhaps in cleats and a helmet since grade or middle school. Pop Warner Saturdays. Friday nights under the lights in high school. Taking the field again on Saturdays as a collegiate student-athlete.
And then, finally, the big show. Playing on Sundays.
Part of a rarified team of 1.6 percenters.
Making, taking and overcoming all of the cuts along the way; emotional, mental and physical.
To be certain, all of that is conjecture on my part.
But having read Mr. Ware’s short epilogue, I can admit that I have a new-found appreciation for how he plays the game of life.
For with as much courage that it took to strap it on each snap throughout a twelve-year NFL career, Mr. Ware is now an exemplar of another distinct brand of fortitude.
He is one who seems to know himself well. And it appears to be an understanding founded on faith.
It can be hard to describe and words can just be so inadequate.
But there does exist a calling.
Not so much the “I am going to be a doctor” journey.
More so that sense of longing that you get from within. The one that seems to originate from a place right next to where the voice of conscience resides.
One known to speak in the softest of tones. Oft times ignored, avoided and disdained.
But there just the same.
It takes something altogether extra not just to hear it. But to listen, and then – respond.
To intentionally let go. Then choose to follow a new path.
Not so much as you want, but more so as directed.
Equating “opportunities” just to stick around and allowing yourself to succumb to the comfort of the known as “temptation”.
To fully appreciate the bigger picture.
Filling your heart with an attitude of gratitude. Recognizing all the hands that went into your making. Acknowledging the blessing it is to experience greatness because of their collective gift of themselves to you.
Then saying “goodbye” to it all.
And moving on from all you have known and been.
Headlong into the unknown and what you might become.
So whatever your station in life:
Be who you are.
Be where you are.
Always, fight the good fight.
Finish the course.
And above all: keep the faith.