It was a close game. Both teams very athletic and capable. One team would pull ahead by 5 points, and then the other team would catch up. The battle went neck and neck all four quarters. One of those nail-biting, heart-pounding games that went down to the wire. And in those last 2 minutes, two very questionable calls by the officials that most fans felt cost the home team getting the victory that night. The radio station always interviews the coaches. The winning team first, and then the losing team. I stood waiting to talk to the coach of the home team and as he approached, and one of the fans mentioned the officiating, the next words out of his mouth were pure truth … “I told the team in the locker room that we are not going to change the narrative and fall into becoming victims. Those calls may have been questionable, but we missed some easy shots, we had a turn-over, all things that if we had executed those well, those calls wouldn’t have mattered. We’ll be proud of how hard we played, and celebrate what we did do well, and work on those things that need improvement.” I was so very proud of my son in that moment, in his maturity as a Christian man, more than if they had won the game that night.
The next morning was Wednesday – the day we have prayer and a short devotion at 6:45 before work. I overslept and was doing the flight of the bumble bee to get to work for the meeting. As I was getting ready for work, and on the drive there, I asked God what I should share with my work team that morning? And this is what He gave me …..
I shared with the team the story above about the ballgame the night before. I went on to tell them that I was reminded the next morning of the verse in Psalm where David says, “Search my heart Oh God and reveal anything in me that doesn’t please you.” In life we need to stop being victims and instead, become victors. We need to quit blaming everyone else for everything that goes wrong and instead ask ourselves “What was my role in the problem, and what is my role in the solution?” Until we do that, we have anxiety and no peace.
I went on to share that the Director of OPS, whom I co-lead the prayer meeting with, well …. we’re both very passionate and a bit intense about our jobs. And… he and I had a knock down drag out in the conference room about 4 months ago. Tensions were high at work for many reasons. I’m sure to this day we both still think we had valid points. But like I told the team, after that episode I couldn’t sleep for the next 2 nights. My heart was hurting. I could have stood strong on “He was wrong – I was right!” But I would have stayed miserable, and a hypocrite, because others were watching and I was not showing them the heart of the Father. I got out my bible and over and over and over again it talks about “humbling yourself” it talks about “forgiveness” it talks about how to treat a Christian brother and sister with love, always, and to let your light shine. The thought that I may have damaged my witness was tearing me up inside. I never want to make my Jesus look bad. The next morning I stopped at Speedway and bought a few bags of M&M’s, sent an email to the Director and team members who were in the room that day, apologizing for my behavior and left them notes with the bags of M&M’s. As I told the team – having a license plate that says, “Jesus Saves” and scripture hanging on the wall of my office, while I wear a cross around my neck, will mean nothing if I act like a jerk and walk in pride.
The rest of the story…. the Director of OPS humbled himself as well and said something poetic about sometimes it takes a thunderstorm… but the sun is always brighter after. Together, he and I started that prayer group before work on Wednesdays. This didn’t come without a grievance being filed against me for praying at work, and only 4 or 5 attended that first week. But here we are – 3 months later – and we are seeing the group grow weekly to the point we have to get out more chairs. We see team members digging into the word and earnestly praying for one another on Wednesday mornings. I truly believe that our HUMBLING ourselves – even though we both likely still felt justified in our point of view – gave the devil a black eye that day. (And it sure was better for my heart than walking in pride).
We give all glory to God for this Wednesday morning prayer group – all we had to do was be obedient and ask God to search our hearts and then follow His word.
The bible was written by the One who designed us. The one who knows what will bring us peace and joy and hope. His ways aren’t the ways of the world – but His ways are what gives rest to a weary soul! I encourage you to find forgiveness – to humble yourself – to pray and ask God to search your heart and reveal anything in you that doesn’t please Him. (Sometimes you’re good, sometimes he instantly brings a memory to mind and you know what you have to change and that Spiritual spanking can be a bit painful) but we’re all on a journey. None of us perfect. All working to be as Paul said – More of you God – less of me. And God, is love.
Be blessed my friends and know that God loves YOU so very much!