Praying to God with Time and Solitude

I started falling asleep to the tv in high school.  With the right volume and show running in the background, I could finally clear my mind and find rest.  With marriage came improvisation.  Now I sleep with earbuds and find it much more difficult to doze off.  When I do sleep, it’s not restful.

I’ve noticed my new stressful sleep is often linked to whatever I’m listening to. There is something happening psychologically when the sound is shot directly into the ear.  It’s like it’s bypassing layers of filters and getting implemented into my subconscience.  It’s become enough of an issue that I’ve tried to remove them and just fall asleep without any artificial aid.

Now I struggle with the lesser of two evils.  A chance that my favorite shows will help provoke stress induced panic attacks… or face the deafening quiet and my ever-wandering, also wakened mind?

The quiet is loud.  I hear every breath, every squeak and creak of the house.  Some nights I’d swear I could hear the cats blinking.  The heat kicks in. The bed cracks, the house settles, the ice falls in the freezer, it’s like a riotous prison!

Worse is that I have no control of my mind.  It wanders into ludicrous places leaving me captive to further pondering when I should be watching sheep jumping fences with cartoon Z’s over their heads.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Why is this so difficult?  To simply stop.  To stop being a receiver for all the world wants to feed into us?  God wants to speak to us, to feed us Godly things, but how often do we truly give Him the platform to do so?

When I was very young, before the crux of a tv to fend with, I would pray as I lay in bed and would often fall asleep talking to God.  I remember explaining to a Sunday school teacher, when learning about confession, that I was such a horrible person that I couldn’t finish talking to my Savior without falling asleep.  I felt real guilt that I didn’t finish and assumed I really let God down.

I still remember the man’s response.  “Don’t you think it pleases God that He was the last thought on your mind as you fell asleep?  Don’t you think He knows you were trying and actually communicating?  For many husbands and wives, their favorite time of day is to crawl into bed at night and talk until they fall asleep.  If anything, I would say you are doing it right.  The Bible says to pray without ceasing… and going up until the dreams kick in is pretty much following that to the letter.”

But I’ve saturated my senses with decades of noise.  I need noise to block out other noises.  The lack of sound is more audio than I can bear… or so I am deceived into believing.  How devilishly tricky!  Such a simple thing.  But look at the magnitude of what it costs.  Precious moments with the only thing worthy of my time.

The Bible speaks a bit about prayer.  It mentions solitude and private. There is a reason.  Imagine trying to take a written exam on a plane that is crashing… weird and silly, right?  Also impossible.  I think this is close to what we do when we try to fit God in over the tv, radio, tablet, computer, internet, smart phone, and any other manner of distraction we throw into our lives.  It’s simply not possible to do.  Way too many bumps, spirals, swerves… and of course the unfortunate crash at the end.

Communicating with God can happen in quick bursts, in thought, surrounding your entire day.  That shouldn’t change.  But GROWING in God, living IN Him, emblazoning His name on your life… that requires real prayer.  Biblical prayer.  Worn knees.  Teary eyes.  Devoted time.  Sincere and uninterrupted talks with time specifically included for listening.  And here is the part I think we most will cringe at if you allow your self conscience unassisted access to you true and unfiltered habits… frequency.  Is this just something you do around Christmas and Easter?  Is this more of a once a month thing?  Do you think corporate prayer covers this?

No one in history has had more justification to exempt Himself from private prayer time than Jesus.  And let me explain what I mean by that.  He was actively doing His Father’s will.  He was followed by thousands and healing them and saving them.  He was DOING the task at hand (in mid-sacrifice mode). Nothing was more criticle to US than seeing this man.  So it might be excusable for Him to say, ‘do as I say and not as I do… I’m here for you, once I’m gone, you should pray better’.  And yet, with such a massive and important, and time bound mission, He still separated Himself and prayed (Just like He wants us to do).  It wasn’t that we weren’t worth His time… it’s because we were worth His prayers.

So let’s use this as an example of how frequently we should specifically set aside private time to pray and listen to God.  To follow scripture and to put it simply, this should be the most important thing we do in our lives.  And… the closer we want to be to God, the more we need to do this.  It almost sounds like a paradox, but it isn’t.  The more stressed we are, the more we need to pray.  The busier we get, the more time we need to set aside to pray.  The more angry, the more sad, the louder life gets… prayer isn’t meant to be another bullet point on the list… it’s what makes the list doable.

Nothing makes me happier than when people stop what they are doing to pray over something.  I had lunch with an amazing friend the other day and he did this.  He could have asked me to pray later and I would have agreed and maybe even remembered to. But instead, He put God where He belongs.  Front and center. It’s important.  Prayer is important.  And when you see prayer and use prayer as a gift from God, then the scripture to pray without ceasing is no longer a command we follow… it’s who we are.  We belong to Christ and we pray forever!  We don’t fit God into our schedule… we live out God’s schedule.

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Is Your Name Nike?

I am extraordinarily blessed to have vacationed with some wonderful people.  One of them was wearing a Georgia Bulldogs hat while standing in line at Florida’s Magic Kingdom.  Waiting for the doors to open, I heard a “Go Dawgs” from a lady in front of us.  They then proceeded to discuss where they were from until Mickey gave us the all clear to enter… the conversation abruptly ended and the mad rush to the first and only ride where the line wouldn’t be over an hour long took over.

This is a part of our psychology that we can’t seem to escape from.  We pair up in our common interests.  Notice the “in”.  That was on purpose.  I had a man walk up to me and started talking about his favorite online website.  It happened to be one of mine too, but I had no idea why he was telling me about it until later when I realized I was wearing one of their free t-shirts.  Movies, music, bumper stickers, social media, pins, hats, shoes, politics… we find so many ways to identify ourselves so we can find each other.

What happens, whether intentional or not, is that we become part of that ideology.  To the world, I’m not Barry, I’m the guy who firmly believes they canceled Go On too soon.  I’m the Taco Bell fanatic.  I’m the Braves fan.  I’m the one searching for rugby shirts because I don’t care what is in or out of style.

There are two things that stand out in Jesus’ ministry to me.  First, he hung out with sinners.  If you believe we are to separate ourselves from the world, I’d highly encourage you to read through your Bible again without the aid of others guiding your path.  The words could not be more clear.  Jesus ate with sinners.  The worst of them.  He didn’t just eat with them… He was caught.  How do we know that He did this?  The religious ‘Bible bangers’ (term from my youth) saw Him and let everyone know that He was lowering Himself to their levels.  I think that is important too.  He didn’t just hang out them.  This was in public.  For all to see.  He was not ashamed to befriend and love on the very people He was here to save.

Imagine the arrogance it would take to come down from heaven, separate yourself from God, endure torture, and you didn’t even bother to try and win even more people over while you were here.  We don’t serve an arrogant God.  We serve a loving God… one who is STILL trying to teach us how to love as He loved.  The sinners… the very people He had to die for, were who He chose to hang out with.  And guess what… we are all sinners.  He just knew it was a waste of time to try and help those who positioned themselves above His help.  The very people who thought Jesus was wrong to eat with sinners are the very same people who will find themselves exempt from the salvation He provides.  (and that is solely by their choice).

The second thing that stands out is that His prayer to God is that we be united.  But the caveat is that we find the same type of unity that He enjoyed with God.  The sad part is that the very things that unite us also tear us apart.  My Georgia hat is appalling to your Alabama shirt.  Your GOP sticker is rude compared to someone else’s DNC flag.  Even as Christians, we can’t find common ground… at least, not for long.  Your instruments will offend those who like acapella.  Someone’s favorite author will be banned by another movement.  We all like different praise songs.  Some stand when they shouldn’t, some sit when they shouldn’t, some spend too much on missionaries while others don’t spend enough.  Is the pulpit too big?  Praise teams?  Baptism?  one cuppers?  Jesus knew what was coming.

A great many of us aren’t “IN” Christ.  We are found by all manner of other labels, but the Savior just isn’t front and center.  We are in Nike, or we are in grape juice rather than real wine.  We are in firmly in our stance against those who worship different than us.  That ‘IN’ is a division.  Jesus prayed for unity because He knew, first hand, how easy it would be to divide us.  Allow me to release you from the illustration.  There is nothing wrong, on any level, with wearing or supporting what makes you you.  Support your team, be proud of who you are.  The point, however, is twofold.  How do you ultimately identify yourself?  Can people see past that hat and know that you are a person of Christ first and foremost?  But more importantly…

Can you (YOU) see past the labels, the choices, and the very world that drips from other people around you?  Can you see past those guises and see the person underneath?  Can you see the sinner?  Can you see the redeemed?  Can you see the broken?  Can you feel their pain?  Can you walk in their shoes?  Can you cast off all of your preconceived notions and join with them in a meal?  Can you invite them to your home?  Can you love on them?  This is what Jesus did.  He did not see the men and women that chose various cliques.  He saw the people He wanted to save and did what needed to be done… but not before He shared a meal.  Showed them what love is… and gave them some dignity.

If you want to put on the world’s view of Christ… take a stand on something that doesn’t matter.  Argue publically over trivial issues.  Share condemnation and point out sin.  If you want to show people Christ… we have to be Him.  We have to be “IN” Him.  I’ve written about this in various forms before and I can’t seem to stop.  I can’t help but feel that we desperately need to revisit these 2 Christian principles (straight from the life of Jesus).  Engage the sinners with love (that means everyone, we are all sinners) and unite in the only thing that could ever matter… Christ.

Are you Gonna be Brocoli?

If life were a plate, what food would you be?  Going by the age old adage, you get to pick.  After all… we are what we eat.  So eating in life, one bite at a time, what food are you?  Bacon?  Mashed potatoes?  oh!  Mashed potatoes with bacon… and CHEESE!

Or would you consider the salad?  You can eat more of that.  So we might enjoy more of life, although it may not taste as good.  Or is life more about what we put out into the world and not so much what we take in?  I’m glad you asked that because, what just walked up behind you, is a dinosaur.  And he sees you on his plate of life.  One gulp and you are gone.

In roll the questions.  What type of snack were you?  Were you tasty?  Nutritious?  Spoiled?  Toxic?  Did you improve someone’s life?  Were you healthy for them?  Was your outer wrapper misleading?  Were you so invigorating that the freshly fed dino will hunt more just like you?  Or, are you perhaps the reason they are now extinct?  Are you toxic to those around you?

I get the impression, from far too many people, that we still don’t understand how important our time is here and now.  It’s not just the TV or the video game system, its how we spend our time together.  It’s what gets us angry.  Its what motivates us.  It’s how we choose to identify ourselves.  If the answer isn’t God, God, God, God and more God, then we have already started the souring process.

Instead of living for God’s will and sharing your testimony, and spreading love, and speaking the good news… in place of good works, we are passing yesterday’s potatoes off as our self worth.  Can we step away from the podiums of pop culture and pick up our Bibles?  Are we able to drop the flags of politics and carry the banner of Christ?  What if we scrubbed off our favorite sports teams and carried the cross on the back of our sweaters?

Jesus said that He is the bread that we need to sustain us.  Dare we take a bite?  What would happen if we filled ourselves with the Holy Spirit?  What impact what our lives have on this buffet of personality and choice we call the world around us?  If Jesus was the bread of life… and we fill ourselves with Him… and He lives in us… could others feed from us?  We are made in the image of God, we are given His Spirit, we are called to walk in His footsteps… why?  So others don’t starve trying to live on garbage.  As corny as it sounds, we need to be offering a taste to our neighbors.  A bite of something good.  No more TV dinners!

We can throw an arm around the shoulder of someone needing love.  We can offer a smile and an ear to someone on hard times.  We can certainly give a meal, a real one, to someone hungry.  But most importantly, and this is key, we can share a story about who we really are.  Where we come from, and why we can offer the best meal in town.  And there you have it.  Another choice made.  Another influence on what you are in this world.  Something tasteful that builds up and points to God… or something bland, stale, unappetizing, and spat back out after the first taste.  We are what we eat…. let’s be Jesus.

—————–

[if this is confusing, the analogy comes from Matthew 26:26 where Jesus instructed His disciples through what we often call the Lord’s Supper.  He broke bread and symbolically called it His body.  And the wine, He called His blood.  Because He told them to eat and drink of His body and blood, many confused them with cannibalistic practices.  In reality it was a very powerful moment in the final hours of Jesus’s life on earth and why Christians still observe this ‘meal’ today.  While it usually consists of Saltines and grape juice, the symbolism still holds its true value.  It’s a memorial feast and its a symbolic process of the choices we make in our life… to take on the sacrifice of Jesus]

The Greatest Command (aka, Christians, its time to step up)

via Daily Prompt: Seriousness

If you treat someone differently because of the color of their skin, you not only disregard the basic and most important command from God(1) , but you mock His creation altogether.  In short, you cannot claim to be Christian, which translates quite easily into like-Christ, if you do not hold the same attributes as Christ.

This is NOT a one way street.  Its the same law, its the same expectation to and from ALL races.  No one is exempt from the command to love equally.  We are all redeemable by God’s grace.   We must stop throwing out the basic principles of Christianity.

Pro tip on how to spot the lies of the enemy:  You think its ok to ignore the single greatest commandment given to us by God.  The laws of God are not meant to rule us… they are intended to free us.  It’s time to understand the Seriousness of your actions.  Be free of your hate.  Let go of your rage.  Walk away from the lies and step into the truth.  Embrace the love of God.

  1.  Matthew 22: 36-40

Your Love Awakens Me

I love my wife so much, I watched Untamed Heart with her.  It’s a movie from the 90’s with Christian Slater and Marisa Tomei.  In it, Christian Slater has a heart defect and needs a transplant to prolong his life.  He refuses and explains why to Marisa:  “I’m afraid if they take away my heart, I won’t be able to love you the same”.

His whole life his heart was dormant.  He barely spoke and never knew love other than the familial affection he received from the orphanage.  He said that Marisa knew peace and that brought peace into his life.  He fell in love and believed it was his physical heart that allowed him to finally have some peace and comfort in his life.

I’m guessing to most, this concept is either silly or romantic.  To me, its inspired.  Below is a song called “Your Love Awakens Me” by Phil Wickham.  Listen to the words of the song.

“Your love is greater”

“Your love is stronger”

“you called me out of the grave”

“you called my name and then my heart came alive”

“your love awakens me”

We get a clear picture that our hearts have been dormant.  We haven’t known love.  And then Jesus shows us peace and suddenly we come to life.  You could almost say, He gave us a new heart.  Go all the way back to the very beginning of the Bible.  Genesis 1:1.  God spoke words and creation happened as a result.  He didn’t know any incantations or cast spells.  He simply said, “Let there be…” and there was.  This God, this voice, this power… has spoken your name.  If you ever want out of the dark.  If you ever want peace.  If you ever want joy.  If you want purpose.  If you want to feel alive, truly alive… speak His name back.  Call on the name of the Lord and see what true love means to the creator of love.

While I hope this message reaches those that don’t know Him and gives them motivation to begin that amazing relationship… there are too many dormant ‘Christians’ that desperately need to climb out of the grave and start living life entwined with their Savior.  If you have forgotten that love, if you have lost purpose, be awakened!

 

Every Diet Will Fail… Unless

The number one reason why diets and weight loss programs fail is because people set themselves up an ending goal.

“I’m going on a diet until I lose 35 pounds!”.

“I want to be able to bench press over 200!”.

“I want to fit into that dress!”

What happens when you are done?  When you meet that weight?  When you fit into that garment?  When your fitness has surpassed expectation?  It’s not that the diet failed… we did.  We met our goal and then returned to the very things that made us fat to begin with.  The weight doesn’t stay off because we changed our diet, exercise and routine… but because we ourselves did not change.  We still cave when the donuts come out at work.  We still pop an extra soda when the day gets long.  We still feel like tomorrow is a better day to exercise than today.  “Mission accomplished!” we may exclaim, but the success is almost always short lived.

Getting the weight off is easy and all manor of trickery can be used to accomplish that.  KEEPING the weight off is not so easy.  It requires an internal change.  You, the person, has to look at life differently.  Motivation can’t be short term.  You must decide that you aren’t dieting… you are changing yourself as a human being.  You know what happens if you give up sweets for a week?  You can’t wait for that week to end so you can dive in and make sweet-angels as they rain down upon you.  (snow angels only in piles of candy).

If you want the weight to stay off, you have to say goodbye to sweets and remove them from your life’s vocabulary.  Insert a never-ending multitude of evidence from those trying to quit smoking, drinking or doing drugs.  It only takes one sip, one puff, one drag to ruin your life again.  So it is equally with the food that is bad for us.  The only people whose bodies change and stay that way, are the ones who transform from the inside out.

I hope that was a sufficient explanation, because its the exact same with our Christianity.  Going to church doesn’t cut it.  Adding a devotional reading isn’t enough.  Read the Bible in a year?  Great!  Then what?  Being a Christian isn’t accomplished by taking on healthy habits for a time.  It starts with an inside-out complete transformation.  And when that is complete, we are so wonderfully remade we want to share it with everyone.  It’s like finding the perfect program that really works.  We want to share.

“hey, everyone, I found the perfect, life changing, heart warming, beautiful thing and it works!  Come see what Jesus did for you!!!!”.  When you invite Jesus into your heart and life, things change.  You don’t decide to stop gossiping for a little while.  No, gossiping becomes offensive to you and you quit because the taste of it is despicable.  Do you relapse?  Sure.  But you don’t cave in and toss out all of the progress like you would on a fad diet.  You pray, you repent and you keep trucking along, maintaining that perfect spirit for the rest of your life.

Am I an expert at dieting?  Have I mastered the new me and forsaken nasty foods and unhealthy habits?  No.  Quite the contrary.  I’ve mastered quitting.  I’ve become an expert with excuses.  I’m in the middle of the quick sand pit, up to my neck, and I’m waving and yelling, ‘Don’t come in!’.  A friend once told me he didn’t accept dieting advice from the ‘experts’.  He wanted to talk to the fat people.  They truly knew about failure.  They experienced first hand what didn’t work.  They understood the struggle and what wall stopped them from excelling.  Let me be your obese guide through the guaranteed biggest failure of them all… trying to be a Christian without a full heart changed by Christ.  Its as devastating as going on a temporary diet without first changing your outlook on food, health and fitness.

I’ve seen the true Christians.  They come teary eyed, faith filled, knees worn, and hands raised for God.  They stumble, but they do not fall.  They sing praise seven days a week and  their love for God is unwavering.  Everything else in their lives moves around their walk with the Savior.  In short… Jesus isn’t a fad and He deserves more than a fad diet.

 

 

Don’t Throw it all out

Imagine you are a restaurant owner and you serve food on trays.  Guess what happens when people throw their trash away at the end of the meal?  The tray goes in.  Either accidentally or sometimes even on purpose… you just lost revenue because you have to buy another tray that should have been reusable.  Or worse, you get to go dumpster diving.

How do you solve this problem?  You can post signs.  “Please don’t throw away the trays!”.  That won’t work.  Both groups of aforementioned people will continue to do this as a sign won’t prevent mistakes or evil intentions.

You could keep buying trays, sift through trash, hire staff to bus tables, start buying disposable trays… all of this costs a lot of money and none of it solves the root problem.  The trash can is too accessible to the consumer.

Someone had a brilliant idea.  Make the hole to the trash can smaller than the tray.  Genius!  Now, even if you want to, you can’t dispose of the tray.

trash-chute-drop-in-s-s

Think about how we deal with problems.

When something troublesome comes our way, we generally handle it in a few different ways based on the issue.  We dump everything in the trash and leave it all behind, running from the issue.  We react too quickly, making mistakes and leaving a mess.  Or we ignore it and let it all build up.  All of this was the trash before the small hole was added.  In other words, there was no filter, and trash piled up either in or outside of the can.

Jesus said, give me your trash!  OK, it wasn’t worded exactly like that, but it was close.  He installed Himself as our filter.  He not only takes our sins, but He takes our burdens and our everyday pains.  He listens, He cares, He comforts.  He provided a way to allow us to clean up our lives without getting lost in the process.  If you’ve ever encountered an honest, God loving, Christ following, Bible obeying Christian, you’ve most likely wondered what makes them so happy.  How can they smile during crisis mode?  Do they ever have bad days?

The answer to all of those questions and more is that they live under an umbrella of blessings that come from God.  He makes all things good and right.  It doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen.  Even in the can, the trash still stinks.  But, He provides peace, understanding, security, and most importantly, help during those times.  We could take the trash directly to the incinerator.  Hopefully, you clearly see the problem there.  We don’t need that kind of access.  We need boundaries.  We need guidance.  Otherwise, we would burn up with the trash.  Many people see the Bible as a book of rules.  If you read a little more carefully, there are few “rules” included.  I would say the majority of the book is either directly detailing, or referencing God’s love for us.  And because He loves us, He guides us.  He shapes us.  He makes us into useful, purposeful, joyful people.

Even some of that very ‘guiding’ can be painful.  Becoming a Christian is like a form of detox all on its own.  We sacrifice things, we leave things behind, we change habits.  Because they are rules?  No!  Let me answer that another way… NOOOO!!!!  We do it because its the best thing for us.  It brings us closer to God and our Savior.  It makes us complete.  Our eyes are opening to the trappings of the world and how certain things can hold us down and entangle us in unimportant issues, attach us to worthless trinkets, or bombard us in meaningless character attacks.  One by one, we crumple up the garbage that was never intended for man to carry with them… and we toss it out.  God speaks to us and we have learned, He knows best.  So we yearn to listen to Him and obey.

How does it feel?  Fantastic!  Weight lifted.  Sites narrowed.  Purpose defined.  And when you develop that relationship with Jesus, it feels so good to answer that age old question that parents and spouses love to ask… “Did you take the trash out?”  We can say, “yes”, but we know Jesus did it for us.

 

 

 

Don’t Call it a Comeback

I’m going to assume you know the outcome of the Superbowl this year (2017).  I won’t even try to recap as I’m sure its being covered by much more thorough analysts than I could ever claim to be.  And many if not all will somehow tie in the age old wisdom that we should never give up.  For years, this message will be recounted when teams are down late in the game.  And while that message has great value, I hope you will consider another angle.

As Christians, our lives with God aren’t back and forth struggles.  They may feel like it at times, but the reality is… God never moves.

We may choose to follow in His footsteps.  We may opt to go on our own for a little while.  We can come back and forth.  We may reject Him altogether.  We can always come back.  He never moves.  Along with His expectations, He never changes.

So it is with the life of Jesus.  He came to earth with a single task.  Save humanity by self sacrifice.  There was no back and forth.  Satan never scored a point.  That is the beauty of the plan.  By Satan ‘winning’ (killing Jesus), we truly win.  It’s why He came.  He was tempted but didn’t give in.  He was tortured, but never gave up.  He was discouraged, but never stopped loving.  The score never changed.  There was no down and out.  There was no 11th hour or 2 minute drill to try and come from behind.

What’s the point?  Comebacks are hope-fuled opportunities for disaster.  I’ve seen it before.  There is still time left.  The team starts to get everything together.  The game gets more intense.  It really looks like its about to happen… but then it doesn’t.  Even worse than losing was the final hope they wouldn’t.   The Christian story isn’t about score.  It’s not about each play or moment of the game.  The game… has already been won.  There is nothing to come from behind from.  Jesus wasn’t down by 35 points late in the game… There is a great Carmen song where Jesus and Satan are boxing.  When Satan knocks Jesus down the ref starts counting down from 10 instead of up from 1.  Only when he gets to 1, its spelled won.

That song cleverly illustrates the sacrifice Christ made.  He took our place.  We can’t lose, He lost for us.  So instead of drowning those sorrows, feeding that fear, or dusting off those bad habits, consider that Jesus actually won the game before He added all the players.   When we accept Christ, we aren’t gearing up for a winning team.  We are suiting up for a won team.  If Tom Brady showed up at your home today and offered you his super bowl ring, that wouldn’t make sense.  To Christians… that is kind of our story.  It wasn’t a comeback, we already won.

This is what Jesus did for us.  We pick our team by choosing how we live for Him.  There will be no hail marys.  No onside kicks.  No trick plays.  This one is in the history books.  The only thing not decided… is your response.  Do you accept Jesus’ gift?   Will you share the victory with others?

Go Long, or You’ll Miss it

Consider these stats about an average NFL game.  It takes over 3 hours to watch the game.  The game clock, and any true game play will last for only 1 hour (4, 15 minute quarters).  The actual time where real football is being played (this is the time between the snap and the whistle at the end of the play is 11 minutes.  That is 11 minutes total for the entire game.  Each play lasts an average of 4 seconds.  This means, on average, there are 165 plays in the game.  But this counts punts, kick offs, field goals, extra points, offense and defense.

We sit for over 3 hours to see 11 minutes of payoff.  The rest is commercials (roughly 100 of those), instant replays, huddling, snap counts (thank Peyton Manning for that… OMAHA!), injuries, and penalty discussions/instant replays.

So the question is… who would do this?  Who would trade 3 hours of their lives for 11 minutes?  Well, anyone who thought the payoff was worth it, of course.  Consider God’s plan for the salvation of humanity.  Who would give their Son to be tortured and killed to save the souls of a bunch of sinners?  I think it stands to reason the answer is the same… because He thought the payoff was worth it.

Consider how much you matter to God.  You were worth it.

That said, perhaps when we catch the next game, we spend some of that spare time giving back to Him.  Pray.  Reflect.  Share.  History is made in 4 seconds.  It’s why we watch.  The first play gets stuffed.  The next play goes out of bounds.  And then… amazing happens.  So goes our walk with God.  4 seconds.  A kind word.  A gentle gesture.  Giving God credit.  Invitations to church, or maybe just lunch.  You will be told no.  You may be laughed at.  You will be told no again.  But then… a miracle happens.  We only have so many opportunities to share how much we matter to God.  How much He loves us.  How much He has done.

When the game is over and the sponsors are counting their piles of ad revenue, nothing we do matters after that.  11 minutes, 4 seconds at a time.  How can we not give it our best shot?

 

 

 

Average NFL Game stats