Spring is beginning to show up around here and so, I took my first walk with granddaughter #3 in her stroller. It’s good to see neighbors coming out of doors once again as we take time to catch up on our long winters.
I learn that one of our new neighbors is a football recruiter which stirs my thoughts.
Basketball has long been our sport of choice. Having gone through the high school years watching our son play, and then onto coaching, it has been interesting to learn of the various aspects and duties involved in the game.
Sitting in the bleachers one season, it became apparent the two women alongside of me were not parents. They talked in low tones, at times taking notes on a small pad.
Perhaps thinking I was a parent of a player, they informed me they were not scouting for players but rather watching one team in particular as they would be playing the same team in a few days. They politely ask, “Which one is your daughter?”
I inform them I am not the parent of a player, but rather the parent of a coach.
With quick humor, they realized in a few days we would be on opposite sides. They explained to me they were watching to see the plays, and the weaknesses, they would be up against as the two teams would soon face each other.
The sidelines provide interesting seats, perspective, and conversation. It’s true in sports and it’s true in the game of life as well.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8, NLT)
Satan watches our lives till he knows us like a game book. He learns the situations which will trip us up and waits patiently for those opportunities to arise. He nags us constantly, accusing us of past failures, in the hopes of wearing us down.
On the other side of the court sits those who are on our side, cheering and encouraging us to stay in the game of life.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1, NLT)
The host of those who have faithfully gone ahead are constantly reminding us of how our God sustains and blesses those who journey with Him. Their stories show us how to maintain our focus because our focus truly matters.
In sports, a good player will tune out the voices from the opposing bench and solely concentrate on the voice of their coach. They are able to pick one voice out of many and heed the instructions being given.
And so it is with our spiritual journey as well …
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take great delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17, NLT)
God sings over us, calming our fears and insecurities, guiding us along the way.
Same game. Voices shouting to us from each side.
The choice is ours as to which voice we will listen.
Get back in the game.
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
– Vincent Van Gogh