Whether you are a fan of the New England Patriots or not, you’ve got to admire Ben Watson in this outstanding play against the Bronco’s last year. Check out this run and then read on.
Four things the local church can learn from Watson’s great effort:
- Don’t Look at the Odds
Everyone was amazed that Ben made that play. I think most were awed that he even tried. He wasn’t interested in finding out if it was wise to go for it, he just did. How many times do we give up before even trying, simply because the odds look too far against us. What would the Bible read like if that’s what the hero’s of our faith did? David & Goliath. Moses & Pharoah. Esther & Haman. Mary. Peter. Paul. Stephen. Dare I say . . . Jesus. Don’t hold back. The ‘odds’ are man made, but we’re living for God.
- Give Your All
Watson gave his all in that run. He didn’t hesitate, stumble, or falter. If he had, he wouldn’t have made it. His ‘all’ was everything needed to get the job done. I wonder what would happen if we put that same unrelenting effort towards the ministry? Perhaps our very best effort is exactly the amount needed to fulfill God’s purposes in our church. Is it possible we short-change the work of God simply because it’s easier to run than sprint?
- Resist the Urge to Compare
What if Ben Watson saw how fast everyone else was running and used that as a benchmark for what he should expect of himself? Not good. What benchmark do you measure your ministry by? Is it the church you grew up in? The church down the road or one you watch online? None of those should reflect who you are or what you could do in your unique venue.
- Don’t Give Up
At some point in that run, Watson had a choice to make. He could keep running or give up. Most of us would have given up. He didn’t. He pressed through the mental wall or ‘dip’ and kept going until the end. The biggest battle we face is inside. We’re regularly faced with people challenges, financial difficulties, and failed attempts to build positive momentum in the church. It’s so tempting to just slow down and go back to the drawing board before the play has even finished.
Remember Paul’s words today and take heart.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14