Super Bowl Season
The NFL playoffs are a fascinating glimpse into human culture. Especially the week of the divisional round, there are eight really good teams - about 400 men - competing for one the top prizes in American sports: the Lombardi Trophy.
Each week during the playoffs the number of teams gets whittled down until it's tet a tet; one to one, head to head. Eventually, a champion emerges.
As I've been reflecting on the build up to the Super Bowl, it seems to me there are some parallels to our spiritual lives. We all want to be champions, but what does it take to win? Paul reminded the Corinthians about the pathway to victory (1 Corinthians 9:24-27):
- First, even though all runners run, only one receives the prize.
- Second, we should run in such a way as to get the prize.
There are two big things we have to understand:
- First, in Greek games, there was no second place; there was the winner, and there was everyone else. No one got a consolation prize or a particaption award.
- Second, remember he is writing to a church. Winning is not just what I do; it's what we do.
So what do we do with this? Unlike the NFL season, we never get the chance to say, 'there's always next year'. We have this life, and that's it. It's one shot, one opportunity, one moment on the stage to get this right. God gives us this one life to do everything we can for the advance of the gospel. What we do in this life matters - it echoes in eternity.
I'm excited about this year - 2017 - and I'm excited about winning. I don't want to get to the end of this year with a package of regrets because I was 'saving something for the next season'. I want to leave it all on the field - in praying, in giving, in going, in doing everything I can to get the job done.
I invited you to join me in our various initiatives - Project 224, Project 215, and the 2020 Vision. This is our opportunity to leave it all on the field - to pray, to give, to make sure we have done everything we can for gospel advance.
The good news is that we're not playing for a Lombardi Trophy. Rather, Paul said this: 'they do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever'. Let's make 2017 a great downpayment on a crown that will last forever.