It seems every week NFL quarterback Tom Brady sets a new record. The forty-four year old has been excelling at his position for more than two decades, and the accolades have really begun to pile up. Most recently, Brady became the first player to ever throw for 600 touchdowns (pre- and postseason not included). When his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammate Mike Evans caught the historic pass, he tossed the ball to a fan in the front row.
The obvious problem is this was a ball Brady would have liked to have. As the old adage goes, possession is nine-tenths of the law, and this lucky fan suddenly had the upper hand in intense in-game negotiations. During the timeout a representative from the Buccaneers went over and approached the fan to see what it would take to get the ball back to Brady. Viewers on TV could see the conversation take place, then a handshake, and finally, the return of the football. The commentators even speculated as to what all he would receive for returning the prized ball.
When it was all said and done, the lucky fan, named Byron Kennedy, received the following:
Two signed jerseys and a signed ball from Brady; a signed jersey and the game worn cleats from Evans; season tickets for the remainder of this year and all of next year; $1,000 credit at the team merchandise store. Additionally, Brady gifted Kennedy a Bitcoin, a piece of cryptocurrency currently valued over $62,000, and Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski threw in another half a coin, approximately valued at $30,000. Finally, Kennedy requested to play a round of golf with Brady at a later date.
Byron Kennedy received all of that simply because he was tossed a ball. Talk about being at the right place at the right time. Just moments later, Brady threw touchdown pass #601, also to Evans, and that ball was thrown to another fan. That fan was glad to catch a ball, but was not nearly as lucky as Kennedy.
To me part of what is amazing about this story is that this fan did nothing to deserve anything in his amazing haul of goodies. All of a sudden an entire organization was offering him prizes that he didn’t deserve.
You probably already know where I am going, but let me go there anyway. We are all like Byron Kennedy, one minute empty handed, and the next everything we can imagine. That is what salvation is like (only much better!). We bring nothing to the table, and as soon as we come to Christ, we are showered in blessings that we did not earn. Paul enumerated some of these blessings when he wrote, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7).”
The blessings are endless, especially because they continue throughout eternity. We might look at Byron Kennedy as one lucky fan, but those of us who have been saved are infinitely blessed.