The time has come.
My Seattle Seahawks are again marching forward to war.
Every year, we go through this. We microanalyze the meaningless preseason games, discuss the September cutdowns to death, scrutinize every bit of offseason literature coming out of the city media, all in pursuit of one haunting question…do the Seahawks have a chance this year?
And every year, we Christians think about “that thing”. That breakthrough or victory or miracle or answer to prayer that we’re hoping for.
Maybe this will be the year that chronic illness finally goes into remission. The year you get out of debt. The year you get engaged. The year that gripping sin on your spouse finally gives way. Maybe you don’t know exactly what you want to see; you’re just hoping things will “get better” somehow.
Steven Furtick has a sermon called “Don’t Stop on Six”. It’s one of my favorites. The reference is to how the Israelites were commanded to march around Jericho seven times before releasing a shout, and how they would have missed the miracle had they stopped on the sixth lap. I love an inspirational sermon every once in a while, and “Don’t Stop on Six” is one of my favorites.
And yet…it makes me uneasy.
In January of 2015, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse had probably the worst game of his life.
During the championship match to decide the participants of Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks quarterback Wilson threw four interceptions, all of them intended for Kearse. Most of those passes themselves were accurate; two of them bounced off Kearse’s hands, and two of them he just didn’t seem to fight all that hard for. Not the kind of stat line that wins you games.
Given that this carbuncle took place during a time of frustrated prayer for me, I assumed it was an answer from God and started looking for a spiritual application.
‘Cuz I’m like that.
At first, in that all-too-common stage of putting words in God’s mouth, I figured his lesson to me was something like this: “You’re Russell Wilson and I’m your coach. Stay in the game; keep fighting like Wilson did.” After all, Wilson is epic, and he’s the one in the trenches while his coach does the thinking, planning, observing, and instructing from the sidelines. Perseverance is a tool of the kingdom. Made sense.
But God broke in and reshaped my thoughts.
I’m Russell Wilson. You’re Jermaine Kearse.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled tryptophan haze to bring you this important head-scratcher:
What do grass, a Seattle Seahawks championship, and the mercies of God all have in common?
Nothing, thank God.
The first passes away on its own (Matthew 6:30). The second is dependent on human effort.
But the third “never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Of course, I rarely ever live as if that were true.