It was fun taking Hannah to her first WVU football game last week. There really is something about the atmosphere of a live game in a big time venue that is electric. It starts in the parking lot with all the tail-gating and builds as you enter the stadium with the enormity of it all. When the band, and then the team takes the field it ignites your school spirit in a way that could never happen while watching on TV. When you’re sitting there with 60,000 other people wearing your team’s colors, it gives you a sense that you are actually part of the team. In fact, your emotions can be so alive during the game that you would almost think you really are down on the field playing. The truth is, of course, is that we are only spectators, not part of the team. Oh, our role is very important though. Without the fervor of a fanbase to pump up the guys on the field, well, let’s just say the team probably wouldn’t play to great. It does make me think about the different roles in the Body of Christ. There are those actually on the field doing the work of ministry, and there are those who say they are part of the church but clearly are the spectators in the stands. My experience is these two worlds very much mirror in that the fans often get disgruntled and can often second guess the players on the field. It’s only natural I guess. But while that kind of backseat driving is tolerable in the world with things like sports, it can often be divisive to God’s team in the church. In the Body of Christ we are all a part with specific roles God has assigned to us, and He has given us gifts to share as part of the team. It’s good to be cheerleaders for one another, but we need to all be part of a similar view…that from the field and not just the grandstands.
Somebody posted a Facebook memory this week that had Hannah in it when she was somewhere between 2 and 3 years old. She was bent over looking through a fence at some critters at one of our CFC great escapes to the zoo. I downloaded the picture and zoomed in on it. Oh my gosh, her chubby little cheeks and legs… her little pixie hair cut…I wanted to reach into the picture and bite her little head off. I know, weird how we want to eat cute kids. Even weirder, instead of that pic making me happy, I actually found myself grieving a little. I want her back at that age sooooo bad. But it did make me think the rest of the day of all the work we put into her as she grew up. Trying to potty train her, teaching her to brush her teeth, grooming her to love fruits and veggies, teaching her manners, to tell the truth, to clean her room, to pick up her toy area, to be kind to people….the list goes on and on. And every single moment of teaching and discipline was about one thing, trying to help my child find a great quality of life. Life is better when you don’t stink, have teeth, eat healthy so your body will be healthy, have friends because you are nice to people, have favor because you don’t lie, cheat, or steal…it all centers around quality of life. As a parent it is by far one of my greatest motivations, in fact my greatest purpose, to raise my daughter in a way that she can have life and life abundant. I guess I take it after my dad, big daddy that is, God. His life centers around us having a great quality of life. So He teaches us things, many things, that help us do just that. But the greatest thing He teaches us is that true life is not found in the flesh, but the Spirit. It is in Him we LIVE, move and breathe. Today God wants to teach you about life…and that true life is found only in Him.