Faith and Football
There is nothing more amazing to watch than my kids in everything they do.
I have a household full of busy bodies and they all love to be involved with different activities. This past summer I enjoyed over 80 games of baseball and softball, several concerts, different sports camps and sadly, numerous visits to the ER. There is nothing more important to me than my family and I adore that my kids love to be involved with different activities. It gives them a chance to expand and grow in different areas, developing their strengths and recognizing their weaknesses, and still persevere through it all. Needless to say, our schedule is always full and exciting.
Now that school has started there are many more exciting things that our kids are involved in, which means many more things that I get to attend. One of these many exciting activities is football. I have three boys in tackle football right now and it amazes me how I still completely get lost in understanding this sport. My husband played several years of college ball, a few years of arena ball and my boys have been playing for 7 years now. I am still as confused as I was twenty years ago.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love watching my boys play and I understand when something good has happened and I know when something not so good has happened, but all the in between stuff I just don’t get. It really is frustrating at times, especially when my boys come up to me after the game and ask me if I saw “that” cool play they were in. Of course I saw them out there, but I don’t know what the reason for the play was or the intensity of how it affected the game. I have been a bystander for so many years on the football stands that I have come to depend on others around me to guide me through what is happening on the field. I only utilize my learning perspective when I am on the sidelines and I put my trust in others around me to guide me through the game. Now, through the years, I have begun to understand the basics of football but there is definitely no depth in my knowledge of the game.
As a Christian, I think many of us treat our Christianity and our faith the same way I treat the game of football. In this day and age, I feel that there is a scary slope that Christians get on and, if we’re not careful, we begin to slide down this slope without even realizing it. The slippery slope that I am talking about is when our Christian walk slowly becomes maintained by others around us and we begin to depend on others to help determine what is “happening on the field”. I believe with all my heart that it is crucial to have other believers beside us to help us grow and maintain accountability, but that is not where our relationship with Christ ends.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
We have become so quick to get our answers from those around us before we even dig in to the Word and see what God has to say about it. We have become a people that knows when something good is happening and when something not so good is happening, but do we understand the in-between stuff of our faith and our walk with Christ? Do we take time to really study the Word of God or have we become ok with other people studying the Word and depending on them to feed us? Our walk with Christ is much more than going to church, being involved in ministries, or being a good person, yet many of us never go beyond those boundaries. I am just as guilty as the next person. There are times when I have put my full dependency on others to maintain my faith. My worship is dependent on the musicians, my knowledge is dependent on the pastor, my emotions are dependent on my friends and family and my actions are dependent on the different ministries offered. We become bystanders of our own faith. We watch and learn from others and rely on their actions and thoughts to create and maintain our Christian walk. The outcome of sliding down this slippery slope is a stagnant walk with Christ. There is no movement. No excitement. No understanding. No growth. I don’t know about you, but I want more out of life than just to be a bystander.
I guarantee if I were to sit down and read informational books on football and studied games or even if I started to play football that I would begin to understand the game. My knowledge of the game would increase and I wouldn’t have to depend on others to help guide me through the plays. When my child comes off the field and asks me if I saw “that” special play, I could respond back “YES” and I would really understand how that play affected the game. Let us not become lazy about our faith like I have with the game of football. I know now what I must do to help achieve a deeper knowledge of the game. It most definitely has not worked for the past twenty years of just being a bystander, so now I must dig in and educate myself if I ever really want to understand it. Just like our walk with Christ, we cannot expect our faith to grow if we do not pour ourselves into it first. Learn, Listen, and Live. God’s desire for us is to be solely dependent on Him.
“I depend on God alone; I put my hope in Him. He alone protects and saves me; He is my defender, and I shall never be defeated. My salvation and honor depend on God; He is my strong protector; He is my shelter. Trust in God at all times, my people. Tell Him all your troubles, for he is our refuge.” Psalms 62:5-8
Lord I pray that you would help us not to become too comfortable with our walk with you and that we would lean not on others understanding but to always look to you. Open our hearts to soak in all that you have for us and may we not become lazy in our faith. Lord we love you and thank you for reminding us to rely on you. Amen