"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." I Corinthians 9:24 - 25
Yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday. Here in the USA we go a bit overboard with this annual wrap up of our football season. A huge amount of money is spent, way too much food and beverage is consumed, and someone wins and someone loses. Our American football is as revered as soccer in much of the world. We chose our teams and are united in cheering them to victory. But, we can't all win.
We have a son who started playing Junior All-American football at the age of seven. My husband would come home from work and ask him how practice went that day. Invariably he'd answer, "Good dad, I'm most valuable player." We loved his enthusiasm and positive attitude. The day came when he was handed a trophy that read, "Most Valuable Player". His coach said that he was the best defensive player he'd ever coached; he played in the linebacker position. As much as we'd like for it to happen this way. . .life isn't a steady flow of victories. We often have trials and setbacks and sometimes we feel like we've fallen in a big hole and can't climb out.
I think we are drawn into the world of sports as a means of connecting with others and rooting for the same team. There is a camaraderie that makes us feel a part of something bigger than ourselves, like a family. It eases loneliness for some and adds a purely fun element to life. For the most part, as long as people don't go crazy, this is a good thing.
Every team has a coach, a leader, someone who guides, teaches and encourages the athletes. Those of us who have been given the gift of faith have a coach too - God. I could fill a whole page of who He is to the believer, but let's concentrate on just a few of His attributes. . .teacher, counselor, ever-present helper, and best of all, the One who is able to get us to the finish line.
I can't imagine going through life without the Lord as my personal coach. It would be so very hard. At times, it's hard anyway because we can't see God's whole plan and must walk in faith believing the words He has spoken are true.
"Faith is a pier less bridge supporting what we see unto the scene that we do not." Emily Dickinson - poet
We feel secure when someone 'has our back'. Faith in a loving God who will usher us into His eternal kingdom someday frees us up to share His blessings with others, and to experience joy in this life. I am thrilled every time I read what Jude wrote, verse 24. . .
"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy. . ."
God has our back and when we come into His presence we will know that what we did here on earth was all a part of His plan. What we judge as good and bad. His purpose will stand. Jesus came to atone (pay) for our sin, all of it. He washed us clean and we are now 'faultless' in God's eyes, but often not each other's. Many will never read the Bible, but they'll read your life.
The Holy Spirit causes us to want to reflect Christ, and give Him the glory for anything we accomplish in this world. When we try and ignore that, we're usually miserable people. There is a large group of Christians who are involved in professional sports and they understand they will lay the 'crowns' they earn before the throne of God someday - Revelation 4:10
I looked with great pride at my son as we stood with his trophies, and my heart was beating to the rhythm of 'Love him Lord, help him, guide him, teach him to trust in You'. This one is for you Ger.
Lord, I thank you daily for all in life I cannot see so that I can walk in faith trusting You.