I'm a big football fan -- especially of the NFL. When I was a kid I covered the wall of my bedroom with pictures out of Sports Illustrated ... no, not from the swimsuit issue... pictures of Fran Tarkington and the Minnesota Vikings. I think I chose the Vikings as my team because of the connection to my Swedish heritage. When you live 1500 miles away from the nearest NFL city you need to come up with some sort of rationale in selecting "your team" and that was mine.
Of course I quickly abandoned my Viking loyalties in 7th grade when the Seahawks began their first season! I attended an Athletes in Action football camp that summer and a couple players who were hoping to make the team showed up one afternoon to participate with us. One of those players was an unknown and undrafted free agent out of Cal Poly Pomona named Jim Zorn. I like to brag that I caught a pass from the future Seahawk legend before he ever threw one in an NFL game! I'll be signing autographs after church on Sunday...
Although I played six years of football up through high school, I didn't have the skill, size, or killer instinct to have a future beyond that. Now I get my football fix through vicariously cheering on my nephew, Isaac Dotson, as he plays for WSU. And, of course, I rabidly watch the Seahawks and other games every chance I get.
About 10 years ago I started playing "Fantasy Football" with some other youth pastors in Kalamazoo, MI, where I served on staff at the Covenant Church. For those of you who are unfamiliar, participants in a fantasy league create their own team by 'drafting' NFL players and then compete each week to see whose team earned the most 'fantasy points'. It's not important to describe it any further, although I'd be happy to tell you about my team "the Gumming Monkeys" if you're interested.
But the contrast between fantasy and reality is most pronounced when meeting a real NFL player. I've had the chance to get to know a few Seahawks over the years including current long-snapper, Clint Gresham. My pretend, vicarious playing of the game is nothing compared to the reality of being on the field!
Christ-followers can suffer from the same contrast. There are those who are 'in the game' and serving the Kingdom of God in the way that God has shaped them to serve.... and there are those who are 'sitting in the bleachers'. Join us this Sunday, September 15th, as we take a look at Reckless Service and how to give your seat a rest! By the way, our Worship Celebration this week will be a bit different than you're used to -- so get ready! And there will be PRIZES! Hope to see you there.
Thoughts about living as a Jesus follower and life at Community Covenant Church