There has been so little sports news to follow due to the pandemic that last weekend’s NFL Draft became must-watch TV for many of us. One of the story lines that interested me happened to come from my hometown Dallas Cowboys.
They prepared for the draft with the absolute expectation that CeeDee Lamb, the player they considered the best receiver in the country, would be gone before they drafted at No. 17. As a result, they made not a single mock draft that included him. Everyone assumed they would draft a defensive player.
When Lamb was surprisingly available, however, they threw away their plan and drafted him.
In the second round, they were shocked again when Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs was still available at No. 51. When asked the chances that Diggs would be available, the team said later, “All of our studies showed that he was in the one percentile. Diggs was in the one-percent chance of falling to us there. One.”
But he did. And now he’s a Dallas Cowboy.
I’m sure other teams drafted players they did not expect to be available to them as well. And that’s my point: the finest minds in professional football are seldom right when they seek to predict the draft. Or anything else about the future of their game.
When last year’s season began, the New England Patriots were favored to win the Super Bowl. Now their quarterback is playing in Tampa Bay. Seventeen teams were favored ahead of the San Francisco 49ers, who went to the Super Bowl as well.
Lao Tzu was right: “Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.”
Listening to God before we speak
Even biblical heroes were not always right. Remember Peter’s prediction that he would never fail his Lord (Luke 22:33), a promise he broke that very night. In Acts 27, Paul tried to keep the centurion in charge of his transport to Rome from sailing into the Mediterranean, warning: “I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives” (Acts 27:10). But God had other plans.
The key is to listen to God before we speak.
In these chaotic days with so much uncertainty about the future, let’s make David’s prayer our own: “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long” (Psalm 25:4–5).
When we ask God to lead us and wait until he does, we can say with Max Lucado, “I refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.”
Are you listening to your Lord today?