Whether you watched 60 Minutes or ESPN, Michael Vick’s return to the NFL has captured the attention of America. Irrespective of what it means to the Philadelphia Eagles’ chances to make it to the Super Bowl in 2010, this is a story that brings new life to the classic parable of the Prodigal Son. View this clip or read on below…
In the Bible, Jesus shared the parable to his disciples in order to highlight the desire of God to forgive the sins of repentant believers and the joy God experiences at the return of a lost soul. In the parable, the older brother who loyally served his father and never wavered in his ethics was not very happy about his father being so forgiving and generous.
Leave it to the National Football League to provide a new wrinkle to an old parable. After two years of prison, Michael Vick returns to the NFL. Like the father, the owner Jeffrey Lurie of the Philadelphia Eagles embraces the disgraced quarterback with open arms. In this current story of second chances, Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles are both getting more than their share of criticism from fans and some members of the media. But there is one big difference, Michael Vick, the young and talented quarterback who strayed, went to prison and is now returning, is getting a loving reception from the older “brother,” starting quarterback and all-pro Donavan McNabb. McNabb is not only joins the celebration; he helped sell the owner and coach Andy Reid in welcoming Vick to his new home! That’s leadership and grace in action. My hat goes off Donavan McNabb for putting the team first and caring about a “brother” going through a tough time.
As a PhD psychologist with a masters in theology, there is something we can all learn from this story of second chances. The only place that perfect people exist are in educational movies and campaign ads. Life is about making mistakes, taking responsibility and bouncing back smarter and wiser. As an expert on the optimism advantage, it’s important to realize that optimism doesn’t have anything to do with Pollyanna thinking. True optimism is earned through a track record of overcoming obstacles on the way to success. The more obstacles you overcome, the more optimistic you are that you can overcome the next obstacle you face. That’s why tough times make you stronger. Both McNabb and Vick have had their share of obstacles in their lives. This is only the first chapter in an ongoing soap opera, but I’m ready to join in the party in welcoming Michael Vick home. I look forward to watch him reearn the trust of the fans. I have a feeling with the gifts both he and his team have, they will do better than many think. Welcome back Michael Vick. Now, it’s your chance to shape the rest of the story!