Story of the Day for Friday October 14, 2011
Is it a Dirge or a Flute He is Playing?
What can I compare this generation to? They are like children sitting in the marketplace who called to each other, saying, “We played the flute for you and you didn’t dance. We sang a mourning song and you did not mourn.”
Deion Sanders is one of the greatest athletes of all time. He is the only athlete to hit a Major League home run and score a touchdown in the NFL in the same week. He is the only player to play in the World Series in baseball and the Super Bowl in football.
We Christians sometimes think God has given us the task of rooting out sin wherever we find it (as long as it’s in other people). I never liked Deion’s cocky attitude on the field, and there are many who would be shocked that I am going to use him as an example for us to follow. Oh well. How many people were shocked when Jesus used a devious business manager as an example of shrewdness?
My view of Deion Sanders has softened since I read about his upbringing. He was born and raised in a poor section of Fort Myers, Florida. The “heroes” of his neighborhood were the corner drug dealers. They wore flashy jewelry and drove expensive cars. Sanders, in an interview with Sports Illustrated, said, “in my hometown, [drug dealing] was the community job.”
Deion began playing football in the Pop Warner youth league since he was eight. He played basketball. He played baseball. He worked hard.
When Sanders worked hard, and became successful, many were turned off by his gaudy jewelry and “showiness” of wealth. But he says he was trying to show the kids from his culture that you can have the trappings of wealth without becoming a drug dealer. “I’m showing them something else,” he said, “I’m proving you can do it on the right side.”
In an interview with Esquire magazine, Deion says the world’s best athletes are standing on street corners, selling drugs. He calls them “I’das.” He explained how they say, “If I’da done this, I’d be here today,” or “If I’da practiced a little harder. . . I’d be a superstar.” Deion admits that some of them were as fast as he was as a kid. But instead of working hard and disciplining themselves, they chose the easy option of selling drugs.
Do you have any “I’das”? If I would have written all my “I’das” down, I would have a handsome, three volume set by now. If only I’da . . .
“I’das” look backward. They can only bring regret. But God calls us to change our focus. To listen to his call for today. When he plays a dirge, it’s time to repent. When he plays the flute, he’s inviting us to dance.
Like Deion Sanders, the Lord wants us to go for it.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)