Tips for Avoiding Personal Concussions

I don’t plan to see Will’s Smith’s new movie, “Concussion.” It’s probably a good movie, but I’m afraid it would tarnish my love for the game of football. I would rather hold on to the fantasy that there aren’t any consequences to all those hits to the head.

And I hate to break it to you, but here’s some startling news:

YOU might be at risk for a concussion, even if you never play football!

Here’s what I mean…

A concussion is defined as “an injury to the brain caused by a jarring blow to the head.” The symptoms include such things as headaches, vertigo, and disorientation.

I don’t know about you, but I do my best to avoid any blows to my head. However, if we look at this in the broader sense, we’ve ALL experienced “brain traumas” of one kind or another. Our mind is inevitably affected when we lose a spouse or child…get fired from a job…endure a serious health crisis…or suffer a divorce.

Events like that are jarring, to say the least. And yes, they certainly can cause us headaches, vertigo, and disorientation. It might even be preferable to be hit in the head by a linebacker.

So how can we protect ourselves from concussions of our mind and emotions? For some, the answer is to “play it safe” in life. In order to avoid any traumatic contact, they try to avoid any meaningful contact at all. They instinctively realize that the most painful experience in the world is to lose someone you’ve loved, so they do their best to avoid any deep emotional attachments.

But let’s be honest: Playing it safe is no way to live! Perhaps it’s okay for caterpillars to live in a cocoon, but not for butterflies. God has called us to fly and to be risk-takers. And that means getting out of our self-imposed comfort zones and bomb shelters.

This gets me thinking about football again…

What if we could design the perfect helmet—one that would minimize traumas and eliminate any serious concussions?

Thankfully, the Bible says God offers us something very much like that. But before mentioning protection against head  traumas, it describes special protection for our heart: “the breastplate of faith and love” (1 Thessalonians 5:8). Guarding our heart is a subject for another blog, and it’s a very important matter for all of us (Proverbs 4:23).

But what about protection against traumas to our mind and emotions? God says to put on very special helmet: “the hope of salvation.”

Do you see how profound this truth is? No matter what kind of personal trauma you are going through, the most important factor in getting through it will be HOPE—a confident expectation that things will eventually get better.

If your mind is surrounded by hope, you can endure just about anything. But if you’ve lost hope, even life’s most minor trials will seem overwhelming.

So here’s my prayer for you today: May you put on your HOPE HELMET. Then you’ll be able to boldly face the “linebackers” standing in the way of the awesome touchdowns God has planned for you.


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