I think my football team is going to shape up pretty well. I’m not crazy about my quarterback, but my running backs and defense are top flight. I think the Desert Sharks are going to be pretty good this year.
I won’t actually be down on a field this year, although I will be in the booth for local high school games. I am going to do the 95.3FM the Edge broadcasts with Todd Evangelist on Friday nights. Todd and I are both football nuts, so the broadcasts should be a lot of fun. So if I won’t be coaching football, what is all this talk about my team? I’m talking about the Third Option Men fantasy football league, of course.
If you’re not familiar with fantasy football, it goes something like this: A bunch of football nerds draft the best NFL players they can and assemble a team. The players can be from many different teams. I have players from the Cowboys, the Chargers, Houston and many others.
Then, every Sunday you check the NFL scores and the individual stats of your guys. Every time Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings scores a touchdown this year, my fantasy team will score points.
Here’s the problem. What happens when your favorite team is playing, but their quarterback is on another fantasy team? Do you root against your favorite team so that your fantasy team will win, but your real team will lose? Do you sacrifice your fantasy team for your favorite NFL team? Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers isn’t on the Desert Sharks. So when we play “Team the Crushers,” I will just hope the Chargers score on a run not a pass! Then I will have the best of both worlds, a Chargers win AND a Desert Sharks win.
In our lives we often face the same kind of struggle. There is a drive within each of us to follow God. The French mathematician Blaise Pascal wrote, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” The problem is that we also have a will. We want our own way, to be our own bosses, and that is in direct conflict with the drive to follow God.
The Bible puts it this way, “It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. (Romans 7:21-23 The Message)
So what do we do? Become mindless wimps without a will, or rebellious children who do what we want? There is a better way. Jesus said, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39) It’s all there, loving God, loving others, and it makes our lives better, too. It takes a strong will to follow God, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Let Jesus fill that void in your heart and see how good your life can be! He will replace your emptiness, stress and struggles with his love and peace. It’s not a bad way to live!
Checking the stats and my heart… Jerry
P.S. The Desert Sharks ended the season 14-2 and won the championship!