It was a critical time of the football game and we couldn’t afford any mistakes. Tie game, late in the fourth quarter and we were driving for the winning score. On a third down and seven, we tried our best play to the right side and our running back was tackled out of bounds close to the first down marker. Some extra pushing and shoving ensued, some punches were thrown by a few of our guys and a fight broke out. Once the officials calmed everybody down, penalties were assessed to us, and the worst news erupted. In the brief melee, our quarterback had run over and took a swing at the guy who tackled our back out of bounds. His swing connected with the player’s helmet, he fractured his right hand and he was unable to continue.
Our second string quarterback (who hadn’t played much that season) was rushed into the game and on the first snap, fumbled the football. The other team recovered and with new momentum, marched down the field for the winning score. What a devastating loss!
Afterwards some parents were heard in the parking lot badmouthing our coach that “ he couldn’t control his players” (which ironically were some of their kids). One of the parents defended the coach, saying, “Do you think any coach can control 11 players once the ball is snapped? I don’t think so, so give the guy a break.”
Between the coaches, players, and parents, who was really in control?
I realize that because of our inherited sin nature, we have no desire to obey or submit to anyone or anything. We are all guilty of having the selfish desire to completely control our own lives – from the music we listen to, manners we elect to use or ignore, clothes we choose to wear – to the biggest decisions we’ll ever face – our character, who we might marry, and even to accept or reject Jesus as Lord and Savior. Yet many of us think, “Why let anyone else dictate or determine our destiny? Society says we control our own destiny.”
But I want to argue that a life lived purely for our own desires is short-sighted, ignorant, and deceived. Left to our own devices and desires, we will self-destruct. Consider the story of slave trader John Newton as an example of living without Christ at the center. If you decide to become a follower of Jesus you give up your right to be lord of your own life. It is an oxymoron to say, “No, Lord.” It should be our desire and intention as Christ-followers to know, love, trust, serve, and obey Him. We accomplish that by spending time learning, meditating, and living according to His Word, which has the power to transform us from me-centered to He-centered.
Read 2 Peter 1:3-12.
The Bible is a similar to a road map, but maps are irrelevant if you do not consult them. The Holy Spirit will use the Scriptures to bring things to life inside us as well as give us insight into the day before us. Each of us needs to read His Word, communicate with Him through prayer, and cultivate a lifestyle of trusting and obeying God. God wants to empower us through Scripture, prayer, circumstances, and our choices to become more like Him.
Walk wisely. We mess up life time and again because we ignore the Author of life. Let’s reduce the moments we ignore His teaching and ask Him for help to pay attention to His instructions. Let’s rely on His Spirit to help us act like we are really under His supervision. Model the Master.
Love is a verb,
©2013 by Mike Olejarz