Monday, February 11, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Football, Scripture and Our God-given job

Do Your Job

A devotional by Amanda Wen

Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” –John 21:22 (ESV)

Those of you who know me know how much I love football, especially my team, the New England Patriots. And I’m no bandwagon Pats fan, either; it’s in my DNA. My mom has rooted for the Patriots since the 1970s, and I’m told I watched (or, more accurately, slept through) my first Patriots game the night I was born. (They lost, something they did quite reliably back in those days). My husband and I bonded over our mutual love for the Pats—he’s a Boston native—and one of our first dates was to a Patriots game in Indianapolis. (They won that one).

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is known for telling his players, “Do your job.” It’s a simple mantra, but a profound—and obviously very effective—one. In any given play, there are a total of 22 guys on the field, each with a different assignment. With all the motion, noise and communication, it would be very easy for any individual player to get distracted, and many do. But Belichick coaches his players to not worry about what anyone else is doing, or supposed to be doing, just do what you’re supposed to be doing. If you’re supposed to cover the wide receiver, cover him. If your assignment is to block a player, block him. If you do your job, and the guy next to you does his job, so the theory goes, everyone’s jobs get done and the team is successful.

Believe it or not, this idea resonates with Scripture. After Jesus’ resurrection, when he reinstated Peter and prophesied both Peter’s key role in the church and his eventual martyrdom, the disciple’s response was not to ask for more details, but to ask, “Okay, so what about that guy?”

Let's read John 21:20-22 (ESV): Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them…and said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”

In other words, “Don’t worry about him, Peter. It’s none of your business. Just do your job.”

In our age of social media, when we’re bombarded with images of everyone else’s highlight reels dozens of times every day, it’s so very, very easy to compare, and we Christians are not immune. We make think thoughts like these: Lord, why can’t I have a house like hers? Lord, why can’t my ministry impact as many people as hers does? Lord, why can’t my children behave as well as hers do?

I believe He’d say the same thing to us as He did to Peter. “If it’s My will that she have (fill in the blank), what is that to you? You follow me!”

Our job—our only job—is to follow Jesus. To lock in with laser focus to Him and what He is calling us to do. He has a unique role in His kingdom for each and every one of us. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are His workmanship, created to do good works He’s prepared for us in advance. 

In other words, God’s drawn up the game plan. He’s given us each an assignment. Worrying about what He’s assigned someone else to do is wasted energy, and it takes our focus off where it needs to be. Trust your Coach. Spend your time and energy on what He’s called you to do.

Go out there and do your job.

Author Bio:

Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of contemporary inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. 

A first place winner in the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, she also placed first in the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, the 2017 Great Expectations Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. In addition, she was a finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest.

Amanda is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She’s also been spotted onstage with the worship team at recent ACFW conferences. Amanda is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

In addition to her writing, Amanda maintains an active and rewarding career as a freelance cellist, frequently performing with symphony orchestras, string quartets, and her church’s worship team. She lives in the Midwest with her amazing husband and their three adorable and hilarious Wenlets.

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