Field Notes From A Prayer Warrior

“Is that all you got?

I’ll take your best shot…”

–“Boom” by POD

“Success on any field starts with faith. Faith in yourself. Faith in teammates. Faith in coaches. And in my case, faith in God.”

–Kurt Warner

Through You we will push back our adversaries; through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.

–Psalm 44:5

Just like that, it’s over. Another season. Another Super Bowl. Aka “The Big Game.”

Sigh.

But take heart…there’s another Big Game!

This one doesn’t happen once a year…but Every. Single. Day. The stakes are much higher…it’s not just a ring, wagers won and lost, or bragging rights for the coming year…

It’s literally a matter of life and death.

We’ve got the “Away from Him” team…

Team Enemy. Team Condemnation. Team Evil.

And the “Home with Him and in Him” team…

Team Jesus! Team Righteous! Team Eternal Life!

The Away team employs diabolically sneaky, unsportsmanlike maneuvers combined with full-on offensive drives. The Home team, steadily gaining yards/territory, looks up and points up frequently while disarming opponents with shots of love and compassion, scorching them with Truth, and crushing their attacks with His name!!!

No contest, right? Yet the game continues…

A breakdown of the Homies…

There are spectators, the volume of the cheers a barometer gauging their current level of emotion and belief. Others, beyond the stadium, don’t give a rip about the game or don’t think it’s relevant to them or don’t even know it’s taking place.

There are the souls on His bench. Oh, man, they wanna get in the game SO BAD!

“Pick me, Coach! Put me in!”

God’s like (I’m picturing a kinder, gentler Burgess Meredith), “You ARE in! In training! Encourage and support the other players. Practice and read the Good PlayBook daily, and, hey, actually LISTEN to my instruction when I give it? I’ll put you in when you’re ready. My game plan, My timing.”

And behold! the ones on the field! They come in all shapes and sizes…an unlikely band of seasoned veterans, raw recruits, and unapologetic misfits, crosses branded on their jerseys and in their hearts, faced off against a phalanx of chest-beating, trash-talking, lie-spewing Goliaths.

“Why?” His players sometimes ask, as their bruised, bloody, broken bodies get bulldozed into the turf again.

In reply, the Coach lifts them up one-by-one down the line, pointing out successful plays and victories already achieved, instances of brilliant light and justice and power, and visions of the glory to come with closeups of the final score on the board…

We’re already THERE.

We’ve already WON!

And Sunday service, the locker room…the pep talk, the message, the praise, the challenge, the prayer, the helmet bumps…you just want to stay there, in that love, that community that shatters all the worry and pain of life…

But, together, bound, you charge forward up the ramp, leaving in your wake…again…discouragement, distraction, doubt…and doubling down, no hesitation, pressing on…

You are all in.

Out in the light now, you direct your focus and intention on Him…

And The GOAL.

The Goal of Grace for all.

And before you break from the huddle, you hang for a moment, a chorus of saints roaring in the background, the Coach’s voice in your ear, and you say…

Game. On.

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3 thoughts on “Game on…”

  1. I’ve been very humbled by “fairness” lately.

    That guy on the other team? Even if she/he cheated, cursed you, and cheered for the Gophers? They still get to be on our team. Even if they change teams at the very last second, they get to rejoice in the victory just as much as the teammates that have never strayed off of the straight and narrow.

    And do I get to begrudge them? Nope. I get to welcome them whole-heartedly to the victory party. The coach brings out the fatted calf. And it is fair. 😀

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