Tag Archives: Super Bowl

Past the Thumb Sucking Stage

Story of the Day for Saturday September 1, 2012 

Past the Thumb Sucking Stage

 

                 The end of a matter is better than its beginning. 

                                                                        Ecclesiastes 7:8

 

 

If you want to become a master chef, the first lesson you must learn is how to stand on a chair and turn off the smoke alarm. If you want to master the violin, you must imagine the sound of a cat being swung by its tail and do your best to imitate it.

 

Beginnings aren’t impressive. When Abraham Lincoln was old enough to write his name, he wasn’t being hounded for his autograph, and there was no sign near Sinking Springs Farm proclaiming:

 

WELCOME TO HARDIN COUNTY, KENTUCKY

BIRTHPLACE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Autographs 5 cents

 

On August 13, 2010, Scottie Pippen was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. But who would’ve guessed it from his unpromising beginning?

Scottie’s family of eleven brothers and sisters was dogged by poverty. He played basketball, but just for fun. It wasn’t until he yearned for a job as a factory manager that he got serious about basketball – because a scholarship was the only way he could afford a college education.

But Scottie couldn’t land a scholarship. His high school coach finally found him a chance to play for the University of Central Arkansas on a work-study arrangement. He worked summers as a welder to pay for school, and he worked as the team manager in order to play ball.

Not a great start, but if he wasn’t willing to begin by passing out towels in the locker room, he never would have ended in the Hall of Fame with multi-million dollar contracts.

 

When the Gospel message reached the seaport city of Corinth, in southern Greece, the newborn believers began by doing what all newborns do: crying, drinking milk and soiling their diapers. But that’s a good thing, because life has begun.

When Paul writes to these young believers, he’s a little distressed because they should be past the thumb-sucking stage, but he is so excited about what God has begun in this bawdy sailor-town. Paul could write to them, “. . . you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you. I have great confidence in you. I take great pride in you.”

 

Saint Francis of Assisi said, “Start by doing what is necessary. Then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

The point, however, is to start. . . even if it only  means taking the battery out of the smoke alarm.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre) 

 

 

Not Just the Kids

Story of the Day for Thursday February 9, 2012

Not Just the Kids

                     Even if my life is poured out like a sacrificial drink offering . . . I am happy and share my joy with all of you. 

                                                       Philippians 2:17

If you want to be happy, how do you intend to get there?  Or, let’s rephrase the question. What is the most reliable path to happiness: pleasure or sacrifice?

 

The question sounds silly until we think about it a while. But let’s imagine a football team has just won the Super Bowl. One offensive tackle has played the entire game. At the final whistle he’s dirty, bruised, and exhausted.

His replacement at right tackle never played a single down. No pain. Not even a grass stain on his uniform.

One offensive tackle finished the game in complete comfort; the other played his heart out and “left it all on the field.” Which right tackle do you think would be more exuberant at the end of the game? Which tackle would’ve wished to be in the other’s shoes?

 

Comfort brings pleasure and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Yet, there’s a world of difference between pleasure and joy.

The Bible says that Jesus, “for the joy set before him” endured the shame and agony of the cross. No one can call torture a pleasure. But when the Lord offers to sacrifice his own life to save ours, he can speak of joy.

 

Sacrifice sounds painful, but when it’s done for love it brings joy. The apostle Paul is writing from prison, yet he’s wildly happy, and thinks everyone else should be happy with him. Paul describes himself as being a sacrificial offering that he is giving for the sake of others. And the very thought of it makes him explode into joy.

 

I don’t know who came up with the idea, but it’s sheer brilliance. For over fifty years the Green Bay Packers have maintained a tradition during their summer training camps. When the players emerge from the locker room they have a short drive from the stadium to their practice facility.

But the players forego the drive. Instead, kids (ages 7-15) line up outside Lambeau Field with their bicycles. Each Packer picks a kid’s bike to ride to the practice field. If you’ve never seen a burly NFL football player riding a little kid’s bike, let me assure you it’s a comical sight.

No one on the team is forced to ride a bike to practice. If a player wants pleasure , he can certainly afford a comfortable car to drive.

But, if a professional football player isn’t convinced that sacrifice trumps pleasure he has made an inadvisable career choice. Maybe that helps explain why virtually all the players choose to ride a little kid’s bike down the streets of Green Bay.

And why it’s not just the kids who are beaming.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)