Monday, October 23, 2000

The Competitive Fire Burns On

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

On 1/26/1999, I wrote the following in my "The Competitive Fire Within" verse application: "I still enjoy winning and I still love to compete. But I pray I never let those desires negatively impact another person's life again." After Game 1 of the World Series last Saturday night, I realize I still have a long way to go. Throughout the game between my most beloved team (N.Y Mets) and my most despised team (N.Y. Yankees) I was a nervous wreck. I couldn't sit still, I couldn't relax, and I could barely speak to my family who I had flown half way across the country to visit for the weekend.

At the time, I rationalized it as a once in a lifetime event transpiring before my very eyes. The Mets and Yankees had never played in the World Series before, and they probably never will again. But that's no excuse. I'm tired of having my life turned upside down by the result of a sports game. All Sunday morning on my flight home from New Jersey, I reflected on my behavior the night before and prayed for a change. The verse above is a comfort to me, for I know that if I earnestly seek this change, the Lord is able and willing to enact it.

I want to change. I don't want to be the man I was last Saturday night anymore. It's been a lifelong battle, but I'm looking forward to what the Lord can and will do about it.

Monday, October 2, 2000

A Committed Heart

Your hearts must be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands. (1 Kings 8:61)

What a challenge it is to have our hearts fully committed to the Lord. I don't know if there has ever been a time in my life when this has been true. There have been occasions when this has been 50% true or even 75%; but 100% true is another story.

Quite honestly, it's been too easy for me to get caught up in the cares and pleasures of this world. Who has time to read the bible when there is a good show on T.V.? Who has time to go to a nursing home or soup kitchen when there is a football game to be seen? Who has time to give when so much time is spent on the receiving end?

When I think about the time that I spend giving, caring, and praying for others and compare it to Christ, it sickens me. It's clear that we are two men that live for different motives: Christ's sole mission is to serve, my sole mission is to be served. I may try to sugar coat things and pat myself on the back for those occasions when I have been selfless, but who am I trying to kid - those occasions are few and between.

I yearn for a day that I spend all of my day in prayer and submission to God. Only then will the man consumed by sports and material things be replaced with a man who lives to serve and to love.