We live in a sports oriented society. The influence of sports is incredible. Sometimes it is direct; at other times, it is subtle. But, it’s significant.
One of the ways this is felt is in an ever-expanding “spectator’s mentality.” Millions of people live in a fantasy world of sports, without ever actually being participants in the game, whatever it is. So it is with life. Many are content to sit on the sidelines, just watching the months and years roll by. Think about it: How many “couch potatoes” do you know? (Or, is it un-sportsman-like conduct for me to ask that question?)
I once read a story about a talented—but unmotivated—young football player who, in his coach’s eyes, didn’t seem to put his heart into the game. The coach wanted to light a fire under the lad. Looking intensely into the young man’s eyes, he asked, “Suppose it’s late in the game. We’re down by five points. We have the ball on the one yard line, and it is fourth down. What would you do?” Without hesitation and with complete sincerity, the young man replied, “I’d move as close as I could to the end of the bench, so I’d have a better view.”
Yikes! Sometimes even players are overtaken by the spectator’s mentality! This makes it difficult to build a team. Again, the sports arena is not the only place we find a growing number of spectators. This mindset distresses workplace supervisors. It is present almost everywhere we look, even in our churches. Members stand on the sidelines watching, while their brothers and sisters wrestle with Kingdom assignments both big and small. But, this is the last place a spectator’s mentality should exist. God’s choice of involvement in our lives should compel us to choose to be involved in the lives of others.
Involvement is a personal choice. It is greatly influenced by an individual’s attitude. God does not want us to dig a hole and bury our talent; nor, does He want us to hide our talent by blending into the crowd on the sidelines.
God has blessed us all with unique talents. He wants us to utilize them in making a difference too. Understanding we are God’s instruments for making a positive difference should help us see involvement on a grander scale.
Deciding to make a difference is more than a duty. It is a journey to great joy! No wonder Peter stated “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. ” (1 Peter 4:10 NLT)
Let us all determine to be more than spectators. Let’s decide to make a difference!
© Bill Williams, a fellow sojourner
September 1, 2016