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Living on Purpose: My Favorite Things

Fall, Food, and Football. This time of year exhibits three of my favorite things! Weather and leaves transition to a cooler climate and present picture-perfect scenery, churches gear up for various events that seem to involve potluck suppers, and football can be discovered on numerous television channels several times throughout the week. As a young boy, I always had a desire to play football and be a star athlete, but two issues presented themselves: The initial issue that put a stop to any hopes of being the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys…I was absolutely useless at playing football! I couldn’t run the ball, couldn’t really catch the ball, and I was far too little to tackle the player with the ball! The second issue which prevented me from playing football was my size. I’m not a very big person, and judging by many of today’s star players, my body would be carried away from the field by the funeral home shortly after the kickoff!! The last time I played back yard football I broke my leg! Goodness knows what would happen if I played with the real players! Not only was I horrendous at football, I was actually useless at any form of athletic activity! At ages 5-6 I played soccer in a church league with my father as the coach. The only time I remember “scoring a goal” was the instance which I ran the ball down the field and kicked it into the opponent’s net. I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gently informed me of my mistake. I thought that I had scored…no one told me what direction I was to kick the ball! At ages 9-10, I played city league baseball. I was determined to make it to pitcher and hit numerous home runs as I had seen the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees perform countless times. Unfortunately, the best ball I hit that season was a foul ball, and my dreams of pitcher went out the window when the conclusion was drawn that I could barely chunk the ball a few feet! Obviously, my dreams of playing as quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, pitcher and home-run hitter for the Braves, and the world’s next great soccer player never came to fruition. Though this may be true, it has never extinguished the joy I receive from watching many young men and women use the gifts and abilities which God has bestowed upon them to provide entertainment and enthusiasm to countless adults and children. Although a fan of many sports, I’m often thankful that our Heavenly Father didn’t grant me the skill and ability to play them. God grants His children with gifts and abilities applicable to the purpose by which we are called. When I laid my hopes and dreams aside of being something which I am completely ungifted to perform, it was then I was available to embark on a path of obedience and surrender to our Lord. I thank our Lord for math instructors…I’m definitely not gifted with mathematical ability. I’m thankful for the nurses, doctors, and surgeons of America’s health systems…If I’m operating on anyone, morphine and the funeral home ought to be present! I’m thankful for those who use their gifts of labor as a service to the community. If it weren’t for a plumber, my sewer line would be stopped up. If it weren’t for an electrician, I would have no lights. If it weren’t for an HVAC repairman, I would be without heat and air conditioning. God grants each of us with the ability to perform the purpose which He calls us to perform. We may be unworthy and sense that we are unable, but He never leaves us unequipped to perform our calling. Children of God are all glorious tools in the hands of a master and all great tools which belong in God’s glorious toolbox. A surrendered tool in the hands of a master can be used for great things. May we discover the purpose which God has granted us the ability to perform, and once we discover that purpose, may we be fully surrendered to be used for that purpose.

Romans 12:1 - “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

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