Football: the game of life

Sweep for a TD by bobmendo
Sweep for a TD, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr.

My friend Tim Calcara in the US wrote this today. Fitting as the SuperBowl is about to take over our airways even as far as Australia.


Are you ready for the big game? I’m not talking about the Super Bowl. I mean the game of Life for a child of God. The game begins once we first believe and resolve to follow him all of our days. But let’s never forget that believing is kind of like the opening kickoff. To stay effective for the duration of the game, it requires daily training, preparation and focus.

And don’t forget. It actually depends upon a world class coach to lead us to victory.

Fortunately, you have that world class coach - the Holy Spirit - who promises to lead us and help us until the final minute of play.

When we watch the Super Bowl, we may have a favorite team that we’ll whoop and holler for but let’s face it, it is just a game, right? And you and I are mere spectators.

On the other hand, you and I are much more than spectators in the game of Life. In Life, we get to suit up each day. And we have the power to play each day with intentionality and purpose when we let his presence rule in our hearts.

Ambassadors of the living God. That’s the game of Life for the Child of God. Bringing him glory in both good days and bad ones. That’s how we advance his agenda toward his sure final victory.

Remember, we have already won the game of Life because of what Jesus has done for us. Every Child of God will receive a crown – you could say it’s kind of like a Super Bowl ring – except that when the game is over, instead of boasting about how we were the hero, we’ll take no credit for the victory and humbly cast our crowns at His feet as he is unanimously voted the game’s most valuable player! – see Revelation 4:10.

Maybe you feel like you’ve been “knocked out of bounds” for whatever reason and apathy has overtaken passion for the moment. Going through the motions is an easy rut to fall into, especially when the adrenaline of the holidays has worn off and you have to play even when wind chills dip into the negative double digits.

The apostle John wrote a letter to the church in Ephesus about this dangerous habit of “going through the motions.” Perhaps there is something we can learn from John as he addressed our Ephesian teammates.

In Revelation 2, John’s warning to this maturing church community was that they had fallen from their first love. He urged them to remember their “rookie years” and begin to play the game the way they did when they first came to faith. He reminded them to remember the opening kickoff. And run each play with the same zeal.

Like football, the game of life for the believer must be played with passion, with resolve, with intentionality. Falling into a rut is easy to do but the remedy is to return to the love we had when we first believed.

Ask any football veteran. They'll tell you that rookies bring passion and excitement to the game because everything is so new to them. Sure, rookies make more mistakes but their boundless zeal keeps the team motivated and excited about executing the game plan. And remember, in God’s economy, passion always trumps doing it perfectly – Acts 13:22.

One of favorite songs by Mathew West is called “Going Through the Motions.” Listen to the words of the chorus…

I don't wanna go through the motions.
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me.

I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything
Instead of going through the motions?"

I am sure that no player in the Super Bowl wants to have regrets about going through the motions of mediocrity.. They resolve to give everything they’ve got until the final tick of the clock.

Are you willing to do the same?

Have a Super Ground Hog Day on Sunday but remember you have a bigger game to play on Monday I.e. the “Game of Life.” Let’s all resolve to reignite the passion that we had when we were “rookies”.

It’s the only way to play.


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