Sunday, February 1, 2015

Of Games and Life

Monday, February 2, 2015
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.  Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.  Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.  Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.  Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
Proverbs 4:23-27  (NLT)
The Proverb writer sounds suspiciously like my mother when she constantly reminded me as a child to remember Whose you are. 

(I know Mom didn’t write the Proverbs…but she knew and trusted them enough to quote them to me often.)

The Super Bowl was yesterday and somebody won.  I can’t comment on whether it was New England or Seattle, because I am actually writing this on Friday.  But the story of “deflated” footballs was big in the last two weeks of the sports world.  When New England played Indianapolis for the AFC championship title on January 18th, eleven of the balls used turned out to be underinflated.  Supposedly that gives the quarterback better control when throwing passes. 

They’re calling it “Deflategate”; there are theories as to who may be the culprit.  There are always theories.

The primary theory was that somebody didn’t guard the cache of footballs.  Gee…ya think?

Now, everyone knows football is big business, and in every arena of life the possibility of profit means someone will find a way to enhance the profit margin.  Part of the game!

Back to my mother’s proverbs…life, and our approach to it has often been called a “game”.  We know it’s too serious a matter to think of the substance and actions of our lives as “a game” – however, there are comparisons.

The main analogy for this morning is of guarding the ball.  While the footballs for the championship Super Bowl are under the NFL’s tightest security as of today, and are checked and re-checked for proper inflation to make sure the game will be fairly contested this Sunday…are our spiritual lives guarded that way. 

Do we take seriously the Scripture’s admonition to guard our hearts above all else

Is our language filtered to remove the impurities of the coarseness we hear in everyday culture?

Are we intentional (eyes “fixed”) on the goal of becoming more like Christ?

Is following evil given the red flag? 

Do we mark out a straight path of straight living?

Are we living like this to remember Whose we are, so we can live like our Master?

Life isn’t really a “game” – it’s much bigger than the Super Bowl.  Our lives are a reflection of He Who created us in His image.  Our lives are sacred and a holy trust.

Guard the heart that steers your life; don’t let anything about your goal to serve Christ get deflated.

For You Today

Lift a “Proverbs prayer” today; ask the Father to help you guard your heart. 

Remember – if your heart, the “quarterback” of your life, calls the right plays, and you execute with prayer, the end result will be a life of beautiful obedience…touchdown!

[1] Title image:  Matt Sullivan/Getty Images, via The New York Times

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