My team lost for the ninth straight time today and ended their season. No NCAA berth, no NIT bid. Nada.
By the time I turned on the TV they were down 11-2 and the starters were on the bench. The second string, led by a freshman, tied to score at 14 all, but few expected us to win and we didn't disappoint.
Last year we reached the finals of our tournament. This year we were picked to finish third in our conference and make the NCAAs. Fans are asking how a team that was so good last year, returning all but one starter, can be so bad. There are a lot of variables that play into a winning season but one thing is certain.
You have to play with heart. That is the heart of the matter.
Jehoash, king of Israel, wanted to win, too, but he didn't have the heart for it. When facing the army of Aram he sought God's help. Elisha the prophet told the king to strike the ground with a fist full of arrows, but the king's heart wasn't in it. He probably said something like, "yeah, whatever." Then he struck the ground three times.
Nothing is built without passion, without a deep longing. Not a marriage, not a ministry, not a church. I don't know what God has called you to do. I don't know what desire he has placed on your heart. But I know this. If your heart's not in it, you will fail.
If you know what God has called you to do, then get about the business of doing it and do it with all your heart.
Did You Backup the Files? -- She Said
"Take the arrows," and the king took them. Elisha told him, "Strike the ground." He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, "You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times." - 2 Kings 13:18
Yesterday my computer crashed, and that was before I slid open the upstairs window and dropped it two stories. I’m usually good about saving my files to a travel drive, but in the past two weeks I’ve gotten lazy. So when I hit save and my computer shut down, panic ensued.
My younger son, who is a computer animator, walked by the office door and cocked his head to one side, staring as I yanked the PC into the floor. Eventually, he asked, “Mom, I know better, but curiosity has me. Why are you taking the computer apart? It’s not your forte’?” I shot him a glare that spoke volumes.
“So, at the risk of you throwing something at me, I have to ask this. Have you been backing up your files? Never mind, I know the answer.” He turned and left me to my misery.
All I could think about was the hundreds of files, my manuscripts, the photos, everything – lost. Worse yet, I had my son shaking his head and scolding me with “the look.”
I took for granted that nothing would happen. In fact, I suppose I figured God would swoosh down from the heavens, waving a healing hand and restore my efforts. How pious was that? The fact is I have no one to blame but myself for hours of recovery work, simply because I chose not to be prepared. And to think – to assume, that God would “just up and fix” things. Why should He? I’d made no effort.
I’m amazed at the efforts we place into being the Christians God wants us to be. He asks so little of us, yet we become so lazy, and so cocky that we assume when trouble hits, God will rush over and fix things. There has to be effort on our part. Some sense of “caring.” Think back to Jabez who approached God boldly asking for his territory to be increased and God obliged. There was effort in that request.
The Father puts so much into us and we often put little in Him. When things aren’t running smoothly we question why. God probably says, “Back at ya – why?” There will come a day when God tires of our laziness. The time to make the effort is now, today, otherwise, you may wake up one morning and your computer has crashed. That’s when God will say, “Did you back up the files?”