Friday, October 22, 2010

If I can't do things my way...

The National Football League has come down hard this week on the violent nature of some of the hits in the last few games this past weekend. Defenseless receivers going over the middle of the football field to catch passes have felt the wrath of defensive players looking to make the highlight reel for “knocking someone out.” While football has always been a violent sport and players are faster and stronger than they have ever been, one current players’ attitude toward the recent suspensions and fines caught my attention.

James Harrison (a recipient of a $75,000 fine) said this week: “"I'm going to sit down and have a serious conversation with my coach tomorrow and see if I can actually play by NFL rules and still be effective," Harrison said. "If not, I may have to give up playing football."

(Bel Air Terps Football)
(Bel Air, MD)
My first thought was….REALLY? Just because you don’t want to play by the rules of the league that gives you the privilege to play the game, you are just going to quit?

This attitude not only has crept into this generation’s everyday lives, it has also made its way into our spiritual ones as well.
* If I can’t do things my way...
* If this is all He has for me…
* If everyone doesn’t do things the way I think they should be done…

…well, then I quit.

There’s a simple principle that should settle this issue every time: We are all given the privilege of following Christ. We are chosen. We are allowed to use our gifts and abilities to further His cause and kingdom. And yet so many walk away or quit because they can’t do things their own way.

This process and journey with Christ is not always going to line up with what our flesh desires to obtain and have. I seem to remember a scripture, ‘God’s ways are not man’s ways.’ (Isaiah 55:8-9)

This world is full of James Harrison’s who, in the words of the 
Burger King slogan, just want it their way…and “if I don’t get it, then I’ll just grab my helmet and take myself out of the game. “

(Expired Parking Meter)
(Bel Air, MD)
But James ‘wised’ up yesterday…and he was back at practice. Something tells me that James realized what he was giving up and the blessings he and his family would lose if he refused to play within the rules. I’d like to tell him, “James, the NFL is bigger than you are and will exist long after you have retired. The rules the league is governed by are not going to change. If you want to play, then read the rulebook and play by it.”

The Word of God (our ‘rule’book) is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I know this is because it’s God’s holy word and He doesn’t change. The guidelines for living are set and nothing changes that. 
‘If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you shall be filled.’ (Matthew 5:6)
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

(Downtown Bel Air, MD)
Your journey with him is not a have-it-your-way kind of walk. If you are righteous, HE will order your steps. Submit – humble yourself – choose to do things His way. You won’t regret it.

P.S. James, if you read this…even though I won’t be caught on a football field with you…please don’t hit me!

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