Wednesday, December 22, 2010
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. - 1 Corinthians 1:27
If you didn’t see it, I’m sure you heard about it. Of course you did. :)
My (yes, mine –hush!) Philadelphia Eagles football team squashed the New York Giants last Sunday in a game that will definitely go down in the record books.
Not necessarily because we won. I mean, we’ve been doing that a lot lately (wink). But because we fought back from a 21 point deficit at halftime to tie the game with less than a minute and a half on the clock and finally, to win with 14 seconds left.
SN: I’m quite sure the 85 year-old that lives next door to me and my husband was not thrilled with all of our shenanigans …but then again, it’s Philadelphia, he understands.
And I promise you, I tried so HARD not spiritualize this game. With all of the Eagles jerseys and hats and flags on cars waving to me as I made my way into the office on Monday, I truly fought against it with all my might.
But the Spirit spoke. And I listened.
There are many metaphors for life hidden in the Eagles win but the one that stands out the most is the idea that victory can be ours regardless of what our circumstances look like. How many of us have had to face our own “giants” and found ourselves down and out? We may have lost a job, a home, a relationship. Or maybe we get to the midway point of our lives, our own personal halftime, and we realize that we haven’t pursued our dreams and passions. We stay in the game, though. Try to fight. But our offense…the things that we can do in our own strength to try to make the situation better…is getting smacked around by the enemy. And our defense is weakened with every bit of bad news, big bill, or overwhelming obstacle that comes our way.
By all accounts, it looks like it’s over. People have counted us out, said we’re done, that we can’t do it, won’t make it, can’t “survive.” And even in our own minds (much like the Eagles attested to afterwards), their assessment of our situation is reasonable: Game over.
But check the scripture up top...God is SO not reasonable.
Isn’t it just like God to put us in a position of absolute dependence on him only to end up allowing satan ---in his ignorance--- to punt right in our direction? An opportunity, resolution, or help comes out of nowhere and with angels by our side, we run that thing home and win. If, of course, we don’t give up. Keeping our head in the game is key!
What I found even more fascinating (the message within the metaphor, if you will) is that the Eagles would have probably been celebrated for simply tying the game and going into overtime. Hubbie and I would have still been screaming and it still would have been a huge feat. This is the same way we are often satisfied with a little progress. We are okay if God would just help us pay our credit card bill instead of praying for ways that we can get out of debt. We try to “get through the day” instead of “living fully and loving completely” everyday.
We are okay with just evening the score when God wants us to WIN!
Whew! Can you imagine what your life would be like if you had the dogged persistence of the Eagles during this game with God’s guidance and direction? Where would you be?
But how do I do this, Tracey?
Glad you asked. :)
We have the ULTIMATE model for overcoming in the Christ whose birth we’ll celebrate this weekend.
Yeshua. The Messiah.
He was born in a manger during Roman rule in Israel. He survived the genocide of baby boys by Herod. He preached a message that was revolutionary (love your enemies, turn the cheek) in a very legalistic and traditional environment.
Hardly not the best of circumstances.
I’m pretty sure the enemy thought he had this thing in the bag with the whole betrayal by Judas and crucifixion thing. Little did he know though…he was punting right in Jesus’ direction.
[Can’t you just see Jesus rising from the dead and running into heaven like it was an endzone, spiking death into the ground, and saying “Take that. Take that.” to satan?]
No? Too far? Okay, sorry. Getting a little carried away with the metaphor. LOL!
Bottom line…he won. We win.
And yes, Jesus could have just gone down in the record books as a prolific prophet. That might have been enough for some…even those he served. Reasonable even, given everything that he endured.
But again, God is SO not reasonable. He wanted us to win then. And he wants us to win today.
Like Michael Vick and the Eagles. No matter what it looks like.
Have a Merry CHRISTmas!
Posted by Tracey Michae'l Lewis-Giggetts at 5:24 PM
Friday, December 17, 2010
There is one thing that I know for sure. We will never understand everything about God. And you know what? That’s a good thing. A very good thing. The truth is…I don’t want to worship a God I understand. If I, with my finite mind and breath in britches, could understand and reason God then how would he be any different than me? He wouldn't. And that's why I love Him. Because he is so BEYOND me. He sees what I can't. It’s the mystery of Him…the incomprehensibility (is that a word?) that we mistakenly call contradiction and conflict…that makes Him even worthy of worship.
Oh…and the whole creating the universe and wrapping himself in flesh for a season so that he might die and rise and ultimately restore a broken humanity back to himself thing. Yeah. That was pretty dope, too. :)
Which leads me to wonder about the whole notion of seeking God. This very blog is named after this idea and I spend most of my writing time looking for Him behind my words. For the revelation in the mundane. Maybe even the mundane in the revelation.
So here is mine for today: The whole seeking thing is very good. Sure. You should be absolutely clear about the status of your salvation. But then as you walk this thing out, understand that God rejoices in us simply WANTING him. IN SPITE of the fact that the very words “want” and “desire” imply that there might be some imperfection; some places where we will fall short.
You see, having a desire for God, wanting to be close to Him and striving to do his will…is an absolutely wonderful place to be. As humans, I think that sometimes instead of enjoying the journey, we spend too much time looking for the destination. An end point. A place that we can point to and say that’s it; that’s where I’m going. Many of us are doing that now as the year closes and we revisit our goals. Spiritually, we have become like little kids in the backseat of our lives, screaming at God, “ARE WE THERE YET?" But I'll go out on a limb and submit that none of that is necessary. When it comes to seeking God’s face, desiring his presence, it is important to know that the destination is not a place we will ever reach on this side. And that’s okay. God knows this. You should, too. So just sit back and enjoy the ride...bumps and all.
Of course, not knowing the specifics of the destination or finding yourself in perpetual seeking mode is certainly not an excuse to give up. There are blessings to be had as we move forward along life’s road.
Which leads me to this: Is the greatest travesty of our lives all of the inevitable stumbles we make along the way or is it when we stop desiring God altogether? We can recover from a fall but what happens when---because we frustrate ourselves with what we don't understand about God---we sit down right where we are and refuse to move forward?
Are you just sitting there? Am I?
I would love your thoughts on this.
While you’re thinking…check out the song up above that inspired this post.
Posted by Tracey Michae'l Lewis-Giggetts at 1:23 PM