The other day I traveled about 70 miles to be with a dying friend for a little while. His brothers and daughter were there and we all talked for several hours and rejoiced in the knowledge of his faith in Jesus Christ. He was unable to respond, so the rest of us sat around and talked over old times, mostly about dogs we each have had over the years. I’m sure my unresponsive friend was having a good time as doctors tell us the last thing to go is the hearing. Old dog tales, a little scripture reading and prayer can go a long way toward a joyous so long. Good bye seems final and so Christians say, so long, until we meet again at the feet of Jesus!
After a few hours, I left Lebanon and drove over to Danville, IN where my grandson is on the 8th Grade wrestling team as a 145 pounder. I have a pic of him standing in the ring with the ref holding his hand in the air signifying Brady’s victory. It was hard to see his opponent, but a victory is a victory.
While sitting on the bleachers, (Pray they don’t have bleachers in heaven) I noticed each of the Danville wrestlers had a tee shirt on over their uniforms which across the back had this neat truth, “Champions are great every day not just once a week.”
If the Lord’s people could ever get a hold on this truth, the entire world would change in short order. I know thousands of Christian Champions/Sunday. The average, sub-par and super-duper tend to demonstrate attributes of champions on Sunday, but by Monday morning the adrenaline has worn off they are back to Nervous Nellie, Unhappy Harry, Slothful Sam and numerous other none champion monikers.
The Sunday Champions pray, often with a hint of a tear, for their fellow workers down at the plant. On Monday their fellow workers gather at least the implication that they are being prayed for in an imprecatory manner much like David’s prayer in Psalm 140 for King Saul.
In my experience the two easiest places and times to be Championship caliber Christians is Sunday Morning and during incarceration. No kidding. Both places are insulated from reality. Championship caliber people are needed on the frontlines of life, in the home, the workplace, the lonely and of course among the outcasts of society whose peculiarities are legion.
Wrestlers, Football players and Church players have it made and in many cases really are Champions once a week. For this I am eternally grateful. I know playing football and now wrestling has helped Brady greatly. Thankfully wrestling has cured him of wanting to be a modern Hulk Hogan. He still has visions of rapid development and playing two years for Ohio State and then turning Pro with the Ravens. I like the dreams, though the teams sicken me. (Pardon me, Andy and Ray.) But, hey, if you don’t have any dreams, how can your dreams come true?
Brady is totally motivated toward his aspiration and for this he puts forth an ocean of perspiration and his Uncle Jon and GrandPa Lilly give mountains of inspiration from Jesus, Lombardi and Jerry Falwell.
To be sure, we are saved by God’s grace, we are being practically perfected by His grace and we are kept by His grace. However the real champions in life get up, prepare and run out on the field of life ready for whatever the Lord permits to come. Champions know that every day they will face the same opponent dressed in a different problem designed to take them by surprise and defeat them. Yet their strength comes from the One who knows all the dirty tricks and parries them through knowledge of scripture, prayer and a commitment to excellence.
The everyday Champion understands that whatever field on which they play is an everyday thing.
In many ways everyone has the opportunity to be a genuine every day Champion in another or many “another’s” life through simply taking seriously the truth that others, especially young others, tend to emulate their champions in each area of their life. If the “champion” is merely a one day a week champion, and God knows we have plenty in each walk of life, then the Christian walk above all others demands everyday Champions in the daily life. For as sure as you breathe, those who are watching and wearing as it were, your jersey number will emulate the not so championship actions and habits demonstrated by you.
Now more than ever before we Christians must get rid of the “one day a week” template of Champion, and become true blue each day the Lord entrusts to us.
Colossians 3:23, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
Copyright © 2014 Larry Lilly
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