Thursday, November 3, 2011

Running your route

I am heading back to Clemson in about a week to watch the Tigers play Wake Forrest. One of the many takeaways from watching football is understanding that each player has a certain route that he has to run whether Tajh Boyd, the quarterback, is going to get the ball to him or not. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins has to run his route exactly as Coach Morris designed it. The running back, Andre Ellington has to run his route exactly how it was designed in order for the play to work. Tight-end Dwayne Allen also has a route he has to run in order for the offense to continue to progress towards their goal of getting into the end zone and scoring a touch down.

We too have a route to run in life. Each one of us has unique gifts and abilities that enable us to do what God has called us to do. We are a part of a team that has a much more important goal that scoring a touch down. We are to reach out to a world that is lost and dying. We are to share the message of hope to a world that is desperately looking for something to hope and believe in.

The author of the book of Hebrews speaks of a unique race path that we all have:
Hebrews 12: 1 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
When I read this verse I think about a football game. There are 80,000 fans cheering on the team. They are cheering when each player is doing what the coach taught him to do and progressing down the field towards the end zone. Imagine the dysfunction that would ensue if there were no plans, no routes, no assignments for the players and everyone did whatever he wanted. What if the guys on the field started comparing themselves to the better players and decided that if they could not be superstars they were not going to contribute. It would be chaotic and an utter disaster on the field.

As a follower of Christ we have to understand that we worship a God who created us and designed each one of us for a unique purpose. The Apostle Paul understood this, look at what he wrote to the church in Galatia:
Galatians 1: 15, 16 - 15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles,
Paul understood his route that God had marked out for him. He was to preach the Gospel among the Gentiles. He did not concern himself with what God called others to do, he never said he was not as eloquent as Peter or John, he never said he wished he could be doing something else. He had a route to run, a play called by God and Paul ran it faithfully. Are you running the route you were given by our Coach?

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