Lessons From the Football Field
Despite the yard lines on the field, the weather tells me it's the dead of summer rather than the beginning of fall.
The championship high school season is behind us and a record number of star football athletes now face the college field. A brotherhood separated, but not parted.
We have been blessed with another four years and attended the first home game of the year at Olivet Nazarene University where my son attends and plays on the JV team as a freshman. Being on that campus and visiting him for the first time on his turf taught me a few lessons. Here are two of them:
I need a new perspective every now and then. Being the introvert that I am (with a bit of social anxiety to boot), I took one look at the stands filled to the brim, dug my fingernails into my husband's arm and pointed to the end zone, where empty bleachers awaited me.
We sat with no one on either side of us, or the row below or behind. While it was Introvert Paradise, we couldn't see a thing. Twice we grumbled that the team didn't make any yardage on the play, only to hear the announcer shout, "Another Tiger First Down!" After that, we agreed to move to the main stands during half time. From there, we were able to see what we intended to see: the game!
Similarly, when I view life through my own lens, with worldly fears at the forefront, I miss out on what God wants me to see. If I continually seek and do not find, I know I need to find a new seat and seek HIM, rather than answers.
Everyone has something to give. Because I am an #olinemamma, I threw up my hands as the ball was run through a parted red sea-sized hole created by the Offensive Line, and cried out, "Look at that hole!" Now, the name announced from the speakers was not from the Offensive Line, but they each knew their role in those amazing plays. They understood their gifts and purpose. All the Olinemen that I know are the most loyal, fierce and determined bunch on the field - for someone else's glory.
And the kicker can make or break a close game. A beast-mode defensive line can crush the best offensive plays. And I am amazed at the Sherlock Holmes-style precision a quarterback makes in those precious few seconds he has to pass before a 275 pound machine comes barreling after him.
Individually, yes they are masters of skill, but as a team, when everyone glorifies God in using their skill, they are a masterpiece.
One of my favorite books is Romans and verses 3-8 says:
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Everyone has something to give. Everyone has a part to play and when everyone does not play to his or her gifts, the entire body falls to defeat.
I know that God has given me a measure of faith and has graced me with gifts to further His kingdom. How often do I see my own perspective in this and not His? How often do I use the gift without connecting to others because I have conformed to the patterns of this world instead of renewing my mind?
Today, I point to the cross, where the sacrifice of Jesus lays a foundation of love and community. And I pray that my gifts are shared with others in a way that points back to Him.
What have you learned from everyday events?
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