Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I Got This One, God!

"So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11

Gym class was a nightmare. Showing off my negative athletic abilities twice a week in front of twenty-five classmates was frightening. It wasn't like I was the last one to be picked for a team or left alone on the sidelines but athletics just wasn't my thing. But I did have one good day in gym class; a day I'll never forget.

It was basketball season and Ms. Bevans was filling in for our regular teacher. She split us up into two teams and we took our allotted positions on the court. I think I was center. At the sound of her whistle she threw the ball between me and my opponent and the other team took possession of the ball. At least the pressure was off so I could concentrate on blending into the background and avoiding the ball until the final basket was made by someone else.

Suddenly, I turned around and coming straight at me was that orange ball. "Oh no!" I thought, putting my hands out and closing my eyes. The ball landed in my hands perfectly and like a hot potato I flung it towards the basket. It formed a perfect arc and I scored two points for my team.

"Wow! Perfect! Did you all see what she did?" cried Ms. Bevans. I was never so proud and I never repeated that perfect play ever again. But for one moment in time, "I got it!" I was set apart from my classmates as the athletic expert. The positive attention felt great but shooting that one perfect basket did NOT make me an expert in basketball.

Isn't it that way in our walk with the Lord, too? We gain a bit of confidence, maybe some public accolades for our ministerial accomplishments and it all feels so good. All of a sudden we're an expert.

Then a friend approaches us for spiritual guidance. It's so easy to say, "I got this one, God," and proceed to speak our own wisdom into their life rather than leading them to the source of wisdom, God's Word. When God entrusts us with His children, he does not expect us to usurp His authority, but rather to teach them to recognize His voice through reading God's Word and simply listening for His still, small voice in the silence of prayer.

God doesn't need us but He does choose to use us in each other's lives to point to Him as the Source of all wisdom, truth, and grace in this game of life.

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