“Hoosiers” was a popular movie about a small Indiana school winning the State Basketball Championship in 1954. In one scene, there’s a fight in a tough playoff game and a key players is very upset. Coach Dale, played by Gene Hachman, looks at him intently and says “you…you stay in the game… stay in the game”. It’s a great moment and reminds me of how the Lord speaks to us at crucial moments in our life.
Jesus spoke to Peter this way on more than one occasions….. “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!” (John 21:22) What is that to you Peter, you “stay in the game, you follow me.”
Life can throw us curve balls…..life can knock us down at time. Sometimes it’s a stumble, other times it’s a brief fall, and other times we can get knocked in the ditch. It can be a disappointment, a sickness, a recurring temptation, sin that sneaks up on us. We can feel overwhelmed by it…discouraged… frustrated. We may even want to give up or at least take a vacation from the battle. At these moments I think the Lord may take a page out of Coach Dale’s book and say, “ You stay in the game…Dave, stay in the game”.This is not the time to back away. Turn back to me, allow me to help you up, to encourage you….”you are my son in whom I am pleased…follow me…. follow me….. look up, victory is at hand.”
In these troubled times, it can seem that the Lord has backed away, that he’s not involved or concerned with our lives, with our church, with our country. That of course is not true. The Lord is with us. He is by our side. He will help us. He will have the final word. He will not leave us. But for our part, we must not grow weary or complacent or discouraged. We must stay in the game.
So, let’s follow the exhortation from the book of Hebrew. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1) And, all will be well with our souls.