Today, April 23, is the first day of the 2020 NFL draft.

Ironically I happen to live in a suburb Cincinnati, Ohio and the Bengals have the first draft pick. But draft day is also personal to me because my dad – Allen Tyrone Smith, Sr. – was drafted by the New York Jets in 1965.

A photo of daddy’s draft letter. It was sent by mail way back then.

The J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets! were part of the American Football League back then. Maybe we didn’t even use that chant yet. I was about 13-months old and my daddy left Findley College early to make a living for my mom, his young wife, Lorraine and me. In a sense we were his first draft picks.

Daddy & Mom. Dad looks stressed.

Though my dad wasn’t the top pick of that draft, like Joe Burrow is expected to be for the Bengals, I bet he was thrilled to be chosen. As will every young player who will be chosen.

Today also reminds me that I have been chosen to be part of a different team. This team has an amazing record. We could be called the Tribe… of Judah.

You see I am a draft pick of Christ. 1 Peter 2:9 says “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Jesus gave all, so that I could be a member of His Eternally-Winning team. And this is true of all who declare with your mouth that, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV.

Perhaps this idea is the answer you are seeking as we all walk through this unprecedented season of living during the COVID 19 pandemic.

At the end of this year’s draft, there will be some young men who have yet to be drafted. Of course they will be disappointed and prayerfully their football dreams will continue is some way. But none of us need be left out of the most important and in the end – winning team. We only have to ask and believe in the One who is Number 1.

Have a blessed day and enjoy the draft tonight. Welcome to Cincinnati Joe Burrow!! I’ll be praying for your success on and off the field!

Who Dey!