Football player Earnest Byner will forever be linked with The Fumble. What is The Fumble? Any rabid NFL fan will tell you that it was the turning point of the AFC Championship game between the Cleveland Browns and the Denver Broncos on January 17, 1988 at Denver’s Mile High Stadium.
With 1:12 left in the game, running back Byner appeared to be on his way to scoring the game-tying touchdown, but was stripped of the ball by Broncos defensive back Jeremiah Castille, and fumbled at the 3-yard line. Denver recovered the fumble and Cleveland ended up losing 38-33, another heartbreaking defeat for a city renowned for them.
Byner went on to have an outstanding NFL career that included a Super Bowl championship with the Washington Redskins. At the time of his retirement in 1997, Byner ranked within the NFL’s top 30 all-time leaders in rushing attempts, rushing touchdowns, rushing yards and total yards.
Why am I writing about football? Because of the way Byner handled his notoriety. He was devastated at first but eventually came to see the value of such a public, humiliating failure. On the August 27, 2009 edition of the nationally syndicated Jim Rome Show, Byner said:
It was really a spiritual thing that I had to go through to kind of forgive myself for not being successful in that particular instance in my life. The reality is, it stuck with me probably about three, four years. And the thing that was most difficult, I didn’t handle it the way I should have handled it. I let other people paint a picture of me and how that should have affected me. Guys were telling jokes, I was the butt of jokes on talk shows and all that kind of stuff. And finally, I just had to say, hey, that was one play in my career, it was a tough situation, I learned from it and I was able to go on and use it as impetus to go on and become a champion with Washington.
But the reality is, that play helped me to be a better person, a better coach, a better father, and gave me some empathy for other people who do not have the success that I have. And the other part of it is everybody screws up at some point, everybody’s going to mess up, but you got to understand that you will fail at some point at something. You will fail. But you can’t let the failure be the end result. Learn from the failure, grow form it, and actually use it to help someone else get past something that they’re going through.
Obviously, you don’t want to go through anything difficult. I mean, nobody’s going to lie to you about that. Nobody wants pain and agony, because that’s what I lived with for a while, was actually having that failure. But again, it built me up, gave me more character, gave me more perseverance. It helped me in the long run.
Wise words. We all can learn from Byner’s example. Our greatest lessons are often embedded in our greatest pain. Every staggering loss we have endured has played a major role in shaping who we are. Pain and purpose walk hand in hand.
Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.
Rainer Maria Rilke
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.