Clay was a born athlete and football was his passion. Highly motivated, every practice Clay would be out there doing drills before the team even showed up. He was the team leader. He loved his coach and his team, and always went above and beyond for them.
One evening he and the team were preparing for a rival game. This wasn’t just any rival game, it was the championship. Sitting in the locker room the Coach began connecting with his players, sharing strategies and exposing the other team’s every weakness. After explaining strategy the coach would often end with, “You must master this…”
That night the team played hard, but it was Clay who crushed every record and ultimately crushed the opposing team. As they were walking off the field a player from the opposing team calls out to Clay’s teammate Trent saying, “You suck man, you don’t belong out here.” In retaliation Trent loses it and attacks the other player only to get nailed by a right cross. Trent hits the ground. Anger quickly turns to laughter as the antagonist skips off the field. With Trent still coming to, Clay reaches down to give him a helping a hand. With a sigh he asks Trent, “What was that all about?” Trent in confusion responds, “what do you mean, you heard what that guy said!?!” Well yea Trent, I heard him – but regardless of what he or any of his team says to you, that doesn’t change the score. The game has already been won.
Sometimes I think it’s easy to put too much emphasis on the little things. In this story the game was won, but the insignificant battles rage on. Trent’s next step was simply to enjoy the bus ride back home. Perhaps we can do the same. Simply enjoy the ride home, and pull as many people on board with us as we can along the way. May we always praise Jesus for his leadership, his will, his love and his grace. He always goes above and beyond for us.
No matter what life brings, and whether I come out of my daily battles victoriously, or feeling completely and utterly defeated, that doesn’t change what happened at the cross. Thanks to Jesus, our Lord and Savior, the battle has already been won. Our adversary has already been defeated, yet he’s like a poor sport walking off the field still talking trash – doing all he can to distract us from the beautiful gift of salvation.
May we always keep our focus on Christ.