Monday, April 6, 2009

Jake's Thought for the Week

Each Monday I will be posting Jake's Thought for the Week which he sends out to all the parents of the players in his All-Iowa Attack program.

Roll The Dice -Part 2:
(Reminder, last week was the initial call God gives all of us)
“Here is the irrefutable truth about games that my grandmother would try to teach me as she risked everything for Boardwalk while I tried to hang on to my little cache: When you start the game, you never know what the outcome will be. If you play the game, you may lose. But if you never play the game, you definitely will never win. And if you play the game, you have to roll the dice.”

Response (Excerpt from John Ortberg’s When the Game is Over it All Goes Back in the Box):

In these call narratives, in every case the person God interrupts gives his or her initial reaction directly to God. If you are at all familiar with the Bible, ask yourself whether you have heard the following responses from those to whom God has given hard assignments: What a great opportunity! Defy Pharaoh. Take on the Midianites. Spend a night in the lions’ den. Walk into the fiery furnace. Marry a pregnant girl who claims she’s still a virgin. Face jeers, flogging, chains, prison. Fabulous! What a great challenge – can we supersize it?

Almost always the response is fear. I mention this because sometimes people say things like, “God would never ask me to do something that I’m scared to do,” or “God would never ask me to do something that I can’t handle.” One of the most misquoted passages in the Bible is from Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth. Paul says, “God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” Paul’s point is that we can never worm out of responsibility for sin by saying it’s God’s fault. People twist that statement into saying that God will never give us more than we can handle. Really? Look around at the world: holocaust, death, martyrdom, cancer, war. Whether it’s a special assignment or just living in a fallen world, people all the time are given burdens they cannot handle.

When God calls people to do something, their initial response is almost always fear. If there is a challenge in front of you, a course of action that could cause you to grow and that would be helpful to people around you - but you find yourself scared about it, there’s a real good chance that God is in that challenge. Take it a step further. If you’re not facing any challenges too big for you, if it has been awhile since you have felt scared, there’s a real good chance that you’ve been sitting in the chair too long.

One day my friend Max was asked by his little granddaughter if he would like to see her run. He was surprised at this because, so far she had not been a great walker, though she was quite comfortable with falling. So, Max said of course he would like to see her run.

She lined up on one side of the room and sprinted across to the other side, directly into the refrigerator, and fell backward spread eagle onto the floor. Concerned, Max hurried over to her and said, “Honey, you’ve got to learn how to stop.” She looked up at him with a big grin and said, “But Grandpa, I’m learning how to run.”

God makes the call, we roll the dice.

Go Attack!
Jake Sullivan

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