Flight Paths – Dene Ward

Flight Paths – Dene Ward

Starting Lineups – September 6, 2013

It’s that time of year—college football season, overlapped and immediately followed by, college basketball season.  My family will be excitedly quoting stats from September through the first weekend in April—from the first kickoff of the year till the last tip-off.

Of course, I begin hearing about it during spring practice.  Who is outplaying whom for which position?  Who will the starters be?  I bet if one of the players went to the coach and asked, “Do I have to be at every practice to be a starter?  Do I have to do extra work in the weight room?  Do I have to show up early and stay late shooting baskets?” that he needn’t bother checking the list to see if he even made the team, much less if he made the starting line-up.
And I bet those players do not have to be told so.

My parents recently celebrated their 64 wedding anniversaries.  I wonder how many they would have made if they had each said, “Now give me a list of what I have to do to be a satisfactory spouse.  How many times do I need to remember your birthday?  How many times do I need to remember our anniversary? How many times do I need to say I love you?  How many
times do I even need to be polite?”  They never would have married in the first

What would my boss think if I showed up tomorrow and asked for a list of
the minimum I need to do not to lose my job?  Hmmm. I think I just lost it, especially since this is something I get paid to do.

Service is, by definition, voluntary.  Otherwise it is forced labor.  It does not expect repayment.  It does not seek to know the minimum to get by.  Asking that very question does not even cross its mind because it desires to do the most it possibly can, and by doing that often succeeds in doing even more.
But it understands from the depth of its soul that even that is not enough.

Here is the problem for those who want to just get by: on God’s team, everyone is a starter. Sitting on the bench is not an option. There will be no
third-stringers, who never set foot on the field during a game, but still
receive a championship ring. Only God’s starters get the trophy, and with God you either make the starting lineup or you don’t make the team at all.

Now, what was that question you had?

Now beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak; for God is not unrighteous to forget your work and the love which you showed toward his name, in that you ministered unto the saints and still do minister.  And we desire that each one of you may show the same diligence unto the fullness of hope even to the end. That you be not sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and endurance, inherit the promises, Heb 6:9-12.

Dene Ward

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