My son, Aaron, now a junior in college has played soccer since he was three. At one time, he even played for three teams simultaneously.
I’ve been a soccer mom for a very long time.
I remember one spring season when he was just entering adolescence; it seemed to me he was holding back a bit when he played. “What do you think is going on?” I asked a friend sitting beside me on the sidelines. She’d played soccer for a number of years and knew far more about the game than I did.
“When I played, it took me awhile to learn that you don’t save up energy for later, you leave everything on the field. He’ll have to learn the same lesson.”
It’s the first time I became familiar with the phrase, “leave it all on the field.” Her wisdom struck a chord, and in fact, he did have to learn that lesson.
So, I read I Corinthians 15:58 again a few days ago:
“Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
The Message reads, “And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.”
I had to ask myself a few questions.
Am I giving myself fully? Am I holding back? Do I believe that nothing I do for God, regardless of visible results, is wasted?
I want to answer yes, and no, and yes.
But honestly, some days, the answer is no, and yes, and no.
However, I’ve found an answer for those times when I feel myself settling into the place of comfort and ease where good is the enemy of God’s best.
You’re probably not going to like the solution.
I don’t like it much either, but I believe it's God's cure.
Fasting and prayer seem to shake me out of this zone. Self-denial shatters the glass walls of our cages of comfort and helps connect us in a deeper way to the one who knows firsthand the ultimate self-denial—the blameless Son of God who took the punishment for our sin.
The discipline of fasting and prayer helps restore my passion.
“Take your everyday, ordinary life—sleeping, eating, going-to–work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out” (Romans 12:1-2 The Message).
Heard this song recently and it stirred my heart. Hope it stirs yours as well and helps you become that “living sacrifice.”
Join me as we leave it all on the field.