Did you leave it all on the field today?

It's that time of year. There is a chill in the air, and there is a thin layer of frost on the grass before the sun comes up in the morning. It's a time for pumpkin spice lattes, and for fall festivals. If you have kids in school athletics, it's the time of year when fall sports are wrapping up, or at least heading into playoffs. For many of these student athletes, the sport they love so much will be over; at least in it's current setting. Some are going to move up from high school to college, some from college to pro, and still others from competition level to recreational league level. One way or another, this season of their lives, this chapter in their stories are coming to an end.

For any team facing elimination in a playoff, or a final game of the regular season, the question asked by coaches at every level is this: Did you leave it all on the field today? Did you hold anything back? Meaning, when the going got tough, when the score seem like it was out of hand, did you continue to play your hardest? Did you give it your all? You may not get another chance to be in this situation again, so did you go all in on this one?

One of the things I find puzzling is that in athletics we expect this type of challenging from our coaches and peers, but in life we frankly do not. We don't actually push ourselves that hard, even though every day we have on this planet is a gift, and tomorrow is never guaranteed. Specifically, in our spiritual lives and from our interactions with fellow Christians, we don't ask each other these questions often enough. Did you leave it all on the field today? Did you shy away from uncomfortable conversations where the Gospel could have been lovingly, but firmly shared? Did you choose the path of least resistance rather than coming alongside a brother or sister in critical spiritual or emotional need? Did you give it your all?

We serve a God who didn't hold anything back. He gave himself fully for us. The Apostle Paul writes about this in his letter to the Roman church, while he pleads for them to endure various forms of persecution for the sake of the cross. As their coach from afar, his letter challenges them in a similar way to leave it all on the field, because of what Christ has done for them. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

What about you? Did you leave it all on the field today?

- Pastor Milo


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