Carrying the ball in life

By Kathleen Fye

Knox

Can you believe it? Fall is here. Several times this summer I wrote articles centered on children's games. We all must face reality time flies and we grow up. Adult games might be golf, soccer, basketball, bowling and football.

Let's think about football for this letter. We need a family of players and an object called a football.

I don't know why because the purpose of the game is not to kick the ball, that's soccer. We don't want to hit the ball with a "stick" that's golf. Getting the ball through a small hoop is basketball.

Bowling? Oh, that's where the player is sometimes forced to follow the large heavy ball and his "stuck" fingers in three little holes down the alleyway.

In football all the excitement centers on carrying the ball. With the help of team members, the purpose of the game is to get the ball safely over the goal line on the right side, meaning the side designated as the team's "home goal."

So some balls are meant to be struck as a baseball but others are to be dribbled, kicked, thrown or carried. As Christians, we have been assigned the duty of "carrying the ball."

The truth in our spiritual ball begins in John 1:1 (New English Version).

"When all things began, the word already was. The word dealt with God, and what God was and the word was. The word then was with God at the beginning and through him all things came to be, no single thing was created without him. All that came to be was alive with his life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the dark and the darkness has never mastered it."

As in any exciting game, you will hear much shouting and cheering some with joy and some with cursing. The same is true as we follow after that first ball carrier John the Baptist. (Some cheering we can't hear are angels rejoicing.)

Christians are under siege in America with radical unbelievers on all sides. Keep carrying the ball in the right direction. Don't get distracted. Don't look to the right or left or pay attention to whom or what is behind. Keep focused and run on toward the goal.

John 8:12 (NEV), "I am the light of the world. No followers of mine shall wander in the dark; he shall have the light of life."

Don't grumble if you stumble. Don't take your eyes off of the light (goal) because you might fumble the ball. And don't let that stumble cause you to go the wrong direction.

In 1964, during the Vikings and 49ers game, Jim Marshall made that major mistake. He wasn't prepared for an interception from a fumble.

With great speed and determination, he begins running, full speed in the wrong direction. As he heads for the wrong goal, his teammates run alongside shouting for him to turn around. As the crowd went crazy with disbelief, despair and some with joy, Jim made a great finale dash for the wrong goal.

We're all playing the game and carrying the ball the game of life.

As on the football field, there are two goals, two ways of life. Read Matthew 6. We must choose between two masters. "If God is our father, you would love me for God is the source of my being and from him I come."

John 8:44 (NEV), "your father is the devil and you choose to carry your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and is not rooted in truth; there is no truth in him."

You choose your master. That choice leads to one of two destinations. These goals are called heaven or hell.

In 1938, there was another man Douglas Corrigan who made a major mistake, fumble, bumble or stumble in his plans.

He had flown transcontinental from Long Beach, California to Brooklyn, New York. What's the problem? On the return trip when he left Brooklyn, he went the wrong way.

Really? He finally landed in Ireland. Needless to say, he was forever known as "Wrong Way Corrigan." None of us want that title for an eternity.

To quote Robert Morris, "We have one past but many futures."

Let's close this game with 1 Peter 8-11 (NEV). "Awake be on the alert. Your enemy the devil like a roaring lion prowls around looking for someone to devour. Stand up to him, firm in faith and remember that your fellow Christians are going through the same kind of suffering while they are in the world.

"And the God of all grace, who called you into his eternal glory in Christ, will himself, after your brief suffering, restore, establish and strengthen you on a firm foundation. He holds dominion forever and ever."

We shouldn't be mumbling and grumbling as we carry the ball of light and faith. We may bumble, stumble or fumble but God is there in the Spirit to help us up to continue our trip.

Just don't drop the ball in this race to the goal. Do you hear that rumble in the distance? That's the angels cheering and rejoicing. Carry on.