Life’s Standings

By Pastor Mark Jordan

“Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, ‘Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?’” (Mark 8:36, MSG)

I am a sports fan. I ebb and flow with my fanaticism, but I love my Braves, Dawgs, and Falcons. It is interesting to me to see how I can get caught up in the standings as the seasons progress. I love seeing my teams do well, but I’m leery of that team that seems to always nip at the heels. The fascinating thing with observing standings is your team can only control its own destiny. I can get worked up over how another team might be performing, but ultimately, a team can only take care of its own business.

Life can be similarly for us off the athletic fields and in the arenas of life. We can only take care of our own business, and do the best we can. Yes, we might experience certain victories or defeats based on another’s performance, but ultimately, we must be responsible for ourselves. Living as such can cause you to feel out of control, which is precisely why you need faith. Enter Jesus.

I love how The Message puts today’s verse with Jesus’ teaching: “You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am.” The drivers seat is a common sports cliche, but in this case, it’s true. Jesus wants you and me to know that God is the one in control, and we must let Him lead. This means looking at the standings in life might breed disappointment if you see someone enjoying some success you believe you deserve, but follow Jesus and trust Him to show you how it’s done.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for taking the lead in life. I admit there are times I want things done my way, and I can bristle when they aren’t. Help me to look up at life’s standings in such a way where I don’t get down when I’m not at the top, but to rejoice because that is where you alone should be. I ask this in the holy name of Jesus. Amen.

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