Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday Night Football

"All my rowdy friends are coming over tonight" - Isn't that how the old Hank, Jr Monday Night tune went? Well, in our case, no rowdy friends. But, there WAS some considerable excitement about this game. We live in Jags territory and are Jags fans. Not to mention the competitive edge brought by playing last season's Superbowl winners and the fact we have some friends who are originally from Colts territory and are avid fans. We actually like the Colts, too. Who couldn't appreciate a coach like Tony Dungy. But when they play each other-well, home team's gotta win! Go, Jags! So, as soon as my Bible study ended, my sons and I were tuned in and reporting to my husband via cell px, as he was working.

Decisions, Decisions - As I watched the game, I had my notebook in hand to jot down some notes on the power of our choices. I had been considering a post on the topic of choices last week, to the point of getting some photos and putting them in my photobucket for illustration. Clearly, that post never got it together. The very next day (after getting the photos), in our mid-week service, guess what the title was? "Multitudes, Multitudes in the Valley of Decision", from Joel 2. Care to speculate on what photos illustrated it? Yes, you got it! 2 from MY photobucket! Ok, I am sure the speaker used his own bucket full of photos! But, seriously, what are the chances of that? Ok, Ya'll, I don't truly want to know the mathematical probabilities on this occurring, it's merely rhetorical! I enjoyed his point, but I kept squirming in my seat thinking, "I missed it, I should have done that post"!

Which Way do I Go? - So, I started scratching out some thoughts while I watched the game, and the results weren't really pleasing to me. Part of the problem is I have several thought patterns brewing, and two major patterns are intersecting. One is transition, because this is an historical time of transition both in general for the world, our country, the body of Christ, Israel, and on a personalized level for many of us and our businesses, ministries, church families etc. The second major pattern brewing in me is the power of choice, and at what time are the choices we make of the most significance? Why at a time of transition, of course! See why I am tangled up a little here? When we are at a crossroads, or when a path diverges, we need to know we have a good handle on what our desired destination truly is and what our ultimate goals really are.

The Power of Day to Day Choices - Now, my thoughts are many on these topics. For today, I just believe we need to look at the cumulative effect of our day to day, seemingly mundane and small choices. During the game a commerical for a wide screen TV came on with LaDainian Tomlinson, an NFL player as their spokesperson. The company was well served by their choice in him, because the commerical had a great impact. He talked about people thinking he came from nowhere, arriving on the scene as an apparently "overnight" success. He explained (and the pictures illustrated the point) that he knew very well where he came from. He suceeded through much hard work, and by not always being the great player he is now, (not his words), but through being faithful to work hard, even when appearances were that he was not succeeding.

Overnight Success? or Little By Little? - We all KNOW that success doesn't really come overnight. Yet, I find myself forgetting what it does come from. Because in the end, it really is the sum total of the choices we make, we choose life or death, integrity, versus convenience, self-control instead of self indulgence, generosity as compared to fearful grasping. We forget that it takes "here a little, there a little". Ants are great example of the "slow and steady wins the race" concept.

Overflow - Later in the game, the announcers were speaking about Tony Dungy's far reaching impact in the area of football. They spoke about how he attributes his success to everything but himself, while others point the finger to him in numerous and varied manners for their success. Over the years he has made so many, day-to-day right choices, choices for life, generosity, and excellence, he now can hardly be on a football field without coming in contact with someone who hasn't coached or played with, or for him and admits to being better for it. I thought "this is exactly what it looks like when someone consistently lives a life of excellence". Dungy has attained that level, which many of us aspire to. That place of power, something I'll call the power of multiplication. It's where the cumulative total of (hopefully) good choices we make, build-up an overflow. A place where our life begins to spill over with goodness that benefits others. How does this happen? By the strengths in our lives accruing and developing to a place of it not being able to be contained, but MUST overflow. The wisdom we have learned, the favor that is ours, our place of influence and/or authority, our skill level, knowledge, you fill in the blank, must flow out from us and to the benefit of others. These things we have reaped from sowing good seed, good decisions in our lives, put us in a place to be able to light a path for others, so that they may now be able to know what a good choice looks like. Now we are able to do what some one, some many did for each of us; encourage, show mercy, have compassion for, and provide opportunities for others to spread their wings by setting them up for success.

Purpose of Abundant Living - I think Dungy is one of many examples of what the intention of John 10:10 is all about. I believe Jesus desires us to have an abundant life, in order that we may overflow with His goodness, so that others may: know of Him, of His ways, of His goodness.

Examples - Dungy and LT (Ladainian Tomlinson), at this point in time, have lives which exemplify the power of our choices, for our own success (seemingly overnight) and our future ability to have an overflowing life, for the benefit of not only ourselves, but others as well.

The Field's Wide Open - It's been occurring to me lately, which is how I even got to this posting today, that it's the "little foxes that spoil the vine". Being faithful to the "little" details of life will assure us of arriving at a place of wide open opportunities and places of dominion, where we can impact others from the richness in our lives.

A Note From CPT Obvious - It occurs to me that while this is not a new concept, it is a forgotten concept. This is how America became great. One generation working hard and sacrificing for another. The trouble is we have been so successful and our abundant living has made things so easy and convenient, we are in danger of forgetting that it is GOOD to work hard, strive and push ourselves, and even to do without (gasps!)! See Resistance Training for more on this thought.

OK, now I can't talk anymore because I need to go consult my horoscope, I have important decisions to make...kidding!


Carole said...

Now you had me there for a minute because I thought we could discuss football, but no, you are much deeper. Still I must say you impress me, when I watch football, I can't put two thoughts together except for "Chicago, where did your defense go?" Lovie Smith is a classy guy and I was so proud when Chicago hired him.

freetofly said...

Carole, Tee-Hee!

Glad you could drop by.I DO like my football, trust me. And Lovie is Awesome for sure! It was a treat to watch the Superbowl last year, and it was hard to see either team lose.

Have a great weekend, & Go Bears, Go Jags!

luvmy4sons said...

Girl! This is where you have been. I have been so worried wondering where you are, praying all was okay. I am so confused! I love football too and we always do a Monday night celebration. Okay. Now I have to go back and figure out what is going on! How did you get here? What did I miss?

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!