A bit of a different blog today. As many of you know I am a big Pittsburgh Steelers fan - I don't want to talk about the outcome of the Super Bowl, but I am still thinking about it. I am also a big Arsenal fan (for those that might not know Arsenal is a team - the best - in the English Premier League). They have a very big game today against Barcelona in the Champions league (which is a playoff of all the best teams throughout Europe). Barcelona is, by some accounts, maybe the best team ever assembled.
This is a big game, and not unlike the Super Bowl, fans, players and media have been looking forward to this game for weeks, if not months (to give you an idea of scope some estimates are that close to 1billion people will watch this game tonight or almost 3 times as many as watched the Super Bowl).
So what is my point in all of this and what does it have to do with our faith?
This is a thought that first occurred to me in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, as it struck me how both teams, most of the media (and not even just ESPN and other sports media) and many fans were solely focused on a single 3 hour time period of time. Many players would in fact say that getting to that one game (that 3 hour period) was their focus not just for a few weeks, but for their entire career.
I was reminded of this as I was scrambling around today trying to get everything done so that I could sit and watch the Arsenal game. At one point I even considered picking up the boys early from school so they could watch with me - and so I wouldn't have to leave to pick them up before the game was over.
Anyway, back to the point. The players playing in this game, the media covering it and the fans watching it all know and have known exactly when and where the 'important' moments were going to come and they have all prepared accordingly. No player is ever late to the Super Bowl or a big game. The tv networks never miss the first 10 minutes of a game because they weren't prepared for it to start.
This is not how our lives with Christ are. This is not what walking in faith is like. Instead, we are told in 1 Peter 3:15: But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
And then in Matthew 24:43-44: But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
As Christians we don't know when the 'big game' will be. We are told, time and again, that God has a plan for the world and that we have a unique purpose within that plan. What that means is that we are most definitely in the 'big game'. What none of us - even Jesus - are told is exactly when and where that 'big game' moment is going to come for us.
This isn't a movie with a climactic scene 5 minutes before the story ends, this isn't a football or football where there is a schedule published months in advance. Today might be the 'big moment that God designed me for. Today might be the big moment that God designed you for. Your big moment or mine might not come for years and it might have already come and gone. We may not even know in the moment that it is the moment.
What that means for us as followers of Jesus is that we need to listen to Jesus and we need to listen to Peter, we need to be ready today and everyday. We need to be prepared to share with anyone and everyone the difference Christ has made in our lives and in the world. We need to be ready to step up when our moment comes.
Easier said than done, right? Well, yes and no. There is no way that any of us can really, on our own, constantly be ready. It is an impossible task. But the beauty of our faith and our God is that when we believe in Jesus Christ and trust in Jesus Christ, sometimes the impossible happens.
The only thing we can really do is keep our eyes focused on God - as long as we are really, truly focused on Jesus then we will be prepared for whatever we are called to and we will be prepared whenever we are called to do it.
Being ready for you and I as followers of Jesus doesn't mean hours in the gym or on a practice field, being ready for us simply means never taking our eyes off of the one that created us, the one that saves us and the one the prepares us for the calling we were designed for.
Here is to hoping that with our eyes on Jesus we might see the impossible become reality in our own lives! . . . . . . (starting with an Arsenal win today!! Please!)
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