When I was a teenager, I loved sport and I was pretty good at football. I represented my country when I was 14 and I had scouts from top football clubs turn up on a Saturday afternoon to check me (and my other team mates) out. I even had approaches from them to go and train with them… which could have been the first step on the road to a professional career.
I don’t know what came over me at the time but I declined their approaches. I had other things in mind – I was not bad academically and I guess that I thought that there was something better down the line. There’s been many a time though when I’ve been watching a match and thought “That could have been me”, especially when it involved one of the guys that I played against as a young teenager. I suspect that there’s tens of thousands of guys like me who think that when tuning in to Match of the Day on a Saturday night.
When we’re young, we all have dreams of what we might do when we’re older – footballer, astronaut, film star, model, marry a prince or princess, etc. ** Whether those dreams were founded in reality or not is for you to decide – I remember when I was first asked to preach; I thought that I was going to be the next Billy Graham! If you’re one of the few people that have heard me preach, you’ll know that this isn’t what God had in mind for me. Just as some people have a face for radio, I’ve got a voice for pen and paper!!
Many of us might struggle not to dwell on what might have been (I certainly have) – the key, with God’s help, is to draw a line and look upwards and forwards, to engage with him, to seek his will for you and dwell on his desire to shape us and bless us.
My thoughts go to the fruits of the spirit and my heart yearns to be the loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled person that he intended me to be. I thank God that I’m not the person that I used to be. I’m not yet the person that God intended me to be but, hey, I’m on the road there… with some way to go but I’m on the road. I look at others too and can see God’s influence on them and how they’re changing and becoming more like him.
So when I look at that swing tag, as well as being reminded that it’s never too late with God, I’m reminded that God isn’t finished with me and isn’t finished with you yet. The Jesus shaped, Jesus inspired, Jesus glorifying, Jesus loving guy or girl is inside all of us.
Let Jesus rule!
** In his book, There Are No Ordinary People, Jeff Lucas says that “Not everything is awesome. In fact, most things are just ordinary.” He goes on to say that God uses our everyday lives – each and every detail – in a beautiful, extraordinary way. This is a great book – it’s a book for keeping our feet firmly on the ground, for understanding the reality of life and the eternal, extraordinary value of our day to day words and actions. You can search for it here.