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.
The past couple of weeks we have been going through a five part section from John Ortberg’s book 'When the Game is Over it All Goes Back in the Box'. What each section has discussed has been designed to challenge all of us to follow God’s path and what he is calling us to do for His Kingdom. In order to follow His plan we must understand that we will be met by fear and want to turn in the opposite direction. However, when we understand the fact that fear will play a part in fully accomplishing God’s will it will be so much easier to Roll the Dice and completely rely on God to accomplish His purpose.
PART 1: INITIAL CALL
PART 2: RESPONSE
PART 3: REASSURANCE
PART 4: DECISION
Roll The Dice:“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.”
PART 3 - REASSURANCE:Another striking aspect of the various Biblical stories: even though people almost always have an initial response of resistance, God never reacts by saying, “Oh, I can see where this would be pretty scary. Okay, never mind. I’ll get somebody else.”
God knows people get scared, so he makes them a promise. God said to Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” He said to Gideon, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” No one had ever called Gideon a mighty warrior before.
Do these kinds of promises mean nothing bad will happen? To the contrary! But a person can’t just sit there. The promise is that nothing can separate you from the love of God. You may suffer. You may hurt. You may die. Eventually we’re all gonna die anyway. Christian Journalist Greg Levoy has said that Jesus promised those who would follow him only three things: that they would be absurdly happy, entirely fearless, and always in trouble. The problem is that most of us figure that two of three ain’t bad.
PART 4 - DECISION:What really matters when God calls you to do something is not whether or not you feel inadequate. Of course you will; you are inadequate. So am I. That’s why God promises to go with us. What matters is your decision. Only people who say yes to challenge, demand, and risk are ever fully alive.
We went on a white-water rafting trip on the Squamish River in British Columbia. We got around one corner known as “Devil’s Elbow,” and the guide said that the reason part of the river rated level 4 (levels 5 or 6 uninsurable) is because eight people had drowned there recently. That woke us up. We steered into a little pool, and there was a ledge fifteen or twenty feet high. She said that anyone who wanted to could climb up and jump off. She said you haven’t really had an experience of the river until you have had an experience in the river.
What you couldn’t see from the water was a swarm of about twenty bees up on the ledge, so you didn’t want to stay there a long time. And the Squamish River is glacial runoff. All this water had been ice or snow twenty-four hours earlier. They told us it ran at about thirty-eight degrees. Johnny and I stood there for a brief moment – a swarm of bees to the right of us, a twenty-foot drop into frigid water in front of us. I felt very alive… when Johnny pushed me over the edge of the cliff. What ledge is God asking you to jump off of right now? God makes the call; we roll the dice; we make the move.