This Sunday is the Big Game. (I don’t think I’m allowed to write Super Bowl for fear of being sued… wait… DANG IT!) We have two teams that most people don’t like which leaves us randomly picking a team to root for. The interesting thing about this game though, is not who is playing or even who is gonna win but rather the style that these two teams play and maybe what we can learn from them.
These two teams have gotten to the championship game in two very different ways. One team (Seattle) is built on defense and running the ball. Between Beast Mode and the Legion of Boom they have no problem punchin you in the mouth. The other team (New England) is built around the dreamy eyes of Tom Brady and the dark magic of Bill Belichick. Between the great game plans and the execution their offense is almost unstoppable. Especially when Gronk is healthy.
I could spend a long time analyzing these two teams, but that is what ESPN is for. Rather, I think it’s interesting that these two teams prove that there is more than one way to accomplish a goal. Just because there is a “popular” way to go about attacking a situation doesn’t mean that’s the only way. There is always something new to try.
I think we get stuck thinking that if we don’t follow the “standard” blueprint of life that is laid out we will fail, or that we have failed. Who cares if it takes you a little bit longer to figure out what school you want to go to? Is it a bad thing if you change majors? Oh, you’ve had a few different jobs after college/grad school and you still aren’t doing the thing you really want to be doing? That’s ok.
I realize as I was typing that last paragraph, I fall into that camp. I feel called to be a pastor, to be leading and teaching and discipling. I’ve felt that way since high school. Many of my decisions since getting that call have been to get me to that point. I finished seminary in the spring of 2013 and still haven’t entered into a ministry position. I had an opportunity but it wasn’t a good fit. And here I find myself coming up on two years later and questioning God and his timing and his plan. As if I know better. As if my opinion that I’m “ready” matters. I have allowed myself to be beaten down and frustrated by the fact that I’m not a pastor. That’s dumb.
He knows better. And on top of that I’ve enjoyed the last two years. I got to run an aquatic department, I got to work for Apple, I am currently working a great job at a fantastic company that I enjoy very much. I am learning what it looks like to be ministry and business focused at the same time. These are great experiences that I wouldn’t have had if I would have taken the first ministry job I was offered. A friend of mine recently told me he was wrestling with listening to God to be given a heart and passion for a specific people and location. I haven’t asked God for that. So why would he give it to me? Why would he call me somewhere if I’m not pursuing somewhere to be called? Yes, there is a longing inside of me to be leading, but I’m learning a lot and I really love where we are at right now.
Well that took a different turn than I expected … here’s my thoughts. Are things going different than you planned? Have things taken a detour? Don’t be worried that things look different than you might have imagined them being. Life is messy and changes and very rarely turns out the way we originally planned. Here’s my advice to you and to me:
1. If things don’t look the way you want, evaluate why.
Don’t shift the blame. Don’t cower from the truth. If you want to be at point Z and you are only at X, evaluate why that is and how you can change that. I’m not doing what I want ultimately want because I have chosen not to pursue it. I have chosen to wait and see what God is doing by giving me and Sarah jobs that we wouldn’t normally get. I have no background in publishing or writing, I didn’t go to school to do this, and yet here I am. Sarah just got a great new job that opens up a lot of doors and could be a great future for us. Why would we shake off the things God has blessed us with?
2. Once you evaluate, what can you change?
It doesn’t have to be major. It doesn’t have to shift everything. What’s a simple act you can do to start righting the ship towards your goal? Maybe you start looking at different school options. You consider what it would be like to live somewhere else. You read and study about how to eat healthier. Whatever it is, start researching and make a small change, start the momentum.
There are a lot of different ways to get to your destination point. There were times this season where neither team playing this weekend looked like they would be in the playoffs let alone competing for a championship. What changed? They made adjustments. They saw their end goal, they evaluated what they were doing and they made changes. There is no “one” way to get to your end goal, but you can get there.
Oh and sadly, I think the Seahawks win 28-22.