The call on the field has been reversed

Published 11:26 am Saturday, December 3, 2016

Like most of you, Thanksgiving Day was a continued tradition of turkey and dressing and a lot of football with family and friends.

Many professional and collegiate football games are determined by an official time out and review.

With modern-day technology there are high definition cameras poised from various angles that can put each and every play on the field into detail scrutiny.

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With capabilities of slow/reverse motion that can pull up the slightest movement close range like a microscope in a lab, it is now virtually impossible for a call on the field by an official to go errant.

With the athletes’ fast paced play, even the best trained human eye can and does miss the call.

In football, the referee is donned in stripes and when the need comes for a review, he goes under the hood and, along with the crew upstairs, watches the replay over and over to get the right call.

A few weeks ago, I saw the LSU team go nuts in a last-second winning touchdown pass into the end zone of Auburn.

It was a remarkable play by the quarterback and receiver, but was it the correct call by the officials?

The man in stripes went under the hood and after further review overturned the call on the field, and the game was awarded to Auburn University.

LSU did not get the snap off before time expired and only the HD cameras could distinctly define the exact split second true call of the ball being snapped and the play clock expiring.

In a matter of only seconds the cast-down Auburn sidelines went berserk in extreme joy and the celebrating LSU side lines went mum and numb in horror.

Coach Les Miles was sent packing with a pink slip from that official review and the dreams of a championship season dashed after further review for LSU.

In other contests, I have seen a closing touchdown play called incomplete by the ref who ruled the receiver did not get both feet down in bounds.

But, after further review the man in stripes emerged out from under the hood to signal ‘touchdown’ as the cameras proved different.

Taking this narrative to a spiritual content, all of our lives are governed and impacted by higher powers.

There are two and only two powers that influence every one of us who breathe.

That would be good and evil, heaven and hell, God and Satan.

It is not just terrorists versus freedom or abortion versus choosing life.

It is the same war being carried out that began up in the heavenlies when Lucifer tried to take over as choir leader and got the boot.

The fight has continued on down here on earth and will continue as long as time stands.

It is carried on in a smaller scale every time you and I open our eyes, and every day we get to greet with temptations that come like a chain smoker.

Just when you think you have got a habit whipped, you stumble and fall head long back into whatever it is that trips you up.

Satan is a skilled and shrewd operator when it comes to convincing us to yield to his wares.

Like football, we get way-layed and knocked cold sometimes by a blitzing linebacker who came out of nowhere.

But, the good news here is the ‘man in stripes’ who went under the hood in a borrowed tomb for three days has come forth with the right call for each and every one of us.

With the side lines of hell rejoicing over the win of our soul, our lord and Savior emerges with an over turning decision.

“After further review, the call on the field has been reversed….”

God has the final say on everything including our own eternal abode and outcome.

By his stripes we are healed and set free.

A humble heart and a repentant spirit is what Christ is looking for in all of our lives and if found will always bring sweet relief to us all.

That’s why each and every day you will find me crawling over into my quiet place with Jesus because I must keep a good rapport with the man in stripes who bore the cross for me.

After further review we will one day go home with the victory of all victories.

My Jesus will emerge one sweet day and signal “touchdown” for Bro. Mike as my feet touch down in Glory.

God bless you and God bless America.

Mike Dykes is a pastor and storyteller. He can be reached at