College football is winding down its season. Many teams play their last regularly scheduled game, with the best schools striving to make it to their conference championship game, a bowl game, or for four teams, to the College Football Playoffs, hopefully leading to a national championship. Later today, in the biggest rivalry in college sports, #2 nationally ranked Ohio State takes on #3 Michigan in Columbus, in what is simply known as The Game. This will be the 113th meeting between these two schools, with Ohio State winning nine of the last ten, including the last four.
These two teams really do not like each other, nor do their fan bases. In the 1968, Ohio State was winning 44-14 late in the game when they scored again. After the touchdown, legendary Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes went for two points instead of kicking the extra point, later to be accused of running up the score. When asked why he went for two, Hayes answered, “Because I couldn’t go for three.”
All this week, both in Columbus and Ann Arbor, the focus has been on The Game, with all kind of craziness and fun. For a few days in late November in these two cities, everything, and we mean everything, revolves around their beloved football teams. We know, we lived in Columbus.
While you might not be passionate about college football, we all have something that we pursue with unabated desire. You know what it is; that one thing that is front and center. But when it comes to our relationship with Jesus, we do often only give Him lukewarm attention. Sure, we do all the right things and say all the right things, but when it comes right down to it, Jesus is not the center of our life. We encourage you to read the Bible’s warning against lukewarmness, found in Revelation 3:14-22.
We find ourselves wondering why we don’t experience His presence in a more intimate way. It is not because He is not pursuing us. Over and over again in the Bible we are told that God relentlessly pursues us. We read these words in the first half of Psalm 23:6 (MSG) – “Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.”
We are called to seek after God with every ounce of energy we have. We see this very thing written in the opening verse of Psalm 63 – “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” In Psalm 42:1, we read a similar message – “As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”
So today, we challenge you to look at your own life and ask yourself, “Am I pursuing Jesus the same way in which I pursue those other things I care about?”
New Bern, North Carolina