Get In the Game
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Professional football wasn't the same for me once I began to have the opportunity to speak at NFL chapels. All of the NFL teams have chapel services before their games. And so, a few hours before game time, I had the opportunity to meet in a hotel conference room with a number of the players; sometimes from our local team, sometimes from a visiting team. And the players were so intense! I mean, it was a lot more than a game to them. By the time that day was over, their career could have been in jeopardy, their income was on the line, sometimes what shape their body was in was on the line. Sixteen Sundays that made up a professional football schedule. Let me tell you, there was intensity in the room.
Then, because they often gave me two tickets, I would go to the stadium. And there I saw those wonderful, courteous New York fans. There they were out in the parking lot with their little grills having a party and passing their six-packs. Then they'd go into the stadium and here is this guy; he's kind of the stereotypical football fan. He's got, you know, a lot of six-packs that he's been carrying around in his stomach apparently for a number of years stuffed into some New York Giants or Jets shirt. He's got a Budweiser hat on. He's passing more down his way, and he's yelling and screaming. He knows all the players by their first name of course. Well, at least it sounds like it. And he knows how to play every play; he's very quick to criticize.
Of course, because I know how intense it is for the guys on the field because I've been with them, I just want to stand up and say, "Hey, Buddy, why don't you just be quiet for a little while? Why don't you get out of the stands and get in the game? Let's see how you do." Look behind you right now. Maybe there's someone telling you that.
Someone has wisely said, "In the first reformation the people of God were given the Word of God. Now a second reformation is needed where the people of God will be given the work of God." See, God has work for you to do; not just to go to Bible Studies and attend meetings and sing the songs and support ministries. It's time for you to play! There's someone only you can share Christ with. You're closer to that lost person than any other believer.
There's a group that maybe He wants to burden your heart for. There's someone who needs your time, your attention, your experience. In American Christianity we like to assign all of it to a few spiritual athletes. We call them pastors, missionaries, youth leaders. How about they take all the risks for us? But Jesus says we are all to be out on a limb, taking risks to serve Him.
Why don't you be one of the heroes on the field? There are no heroes in the stands. Dare to say, "Lord, what would You have me to do?" You've spent enough time watching. Now get out of the stands and get in the game.
© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.