Everyone But the Center...
You need to watch this clip.
It is awesome on many levels: It is funny...it features Texas football...and it illustrates something quite relevant to families today.
"False start. On everyone BUT the center." Brilliant.
Do you ever feel like the center? While everybody else is doing the wrong thing, you stand alone, wondering if it would be much easier just to go along with the crowd.
It actually sounds tempting.
Nobody wants to be the lone guy breaking the rules. Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a coach's correction after committing a flagrant penalty in football, especially if it affects the outcome of the game.
But what if EVERYBODY commits the penalty? Then it's no big deal. It's something we all laugh about later.
That's the tension that Christian families must live with every day. Why be different, Christlike, and biblical in our thinking when just about everybody else around us seems to be doing just fine looking and living like the world? Who wants to stand out as the family that is striving for holiness at home. It often feels like it's not worth it.
Let me remind you that it is worth it. In honor of Christ and all He has done for us, it is.
Romans 12:2 articulates the calling on every Christian life: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
Being different and set apart from the world is foundational to Christian living. It's just not very trendy. So we should not be surprised when we feel a bit "out of place" in this world...even among other "church" people. Far too many Christians are more worried about blending in with the world around them than they are in being "transformed" into the image of Christ.
But if we are committed to an extraordinary marriage and to leading our children to choose a radically different path than their peers, it may be difficult, but we must do it with a measure of confidence. It is a confidence that comes when we maintain an eternal focus...when we remember that we live our lives for an audience of One.
2 Corinthians 5:13-14 says that "If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us..."
When we consider fully all that Christ has done on our behalf, we can't help but feel "compelled" to be obedient in our lives and in our homes, even when everyone else is following the crowd. But we must know that, to the crowd, it may appear that we are "out of our minds."
People will think you are out of your mind when you take extreme measures to protect your marriage.
Your kids' friends will think they are out of their minds when they pursue radical purity in their relationships with the opposite sex.
The world will know you are out of your minds when every choice you make reflects a biblical worldview, not the obvious pursuits of the American dream.
The challenge for each of us who claims Christ is to be fully okay with having a large portion of the people around us think we are a wee bit "off." This is not something that any of us savor, but we must embrace the subtle satisfaction of knowing that we are right with the only One who truly matters.
When the ref in Saturday's game called the penalty on everybody but the center, I'll bet that hidden beneath that 300 pound kid's face mask was a subtle little grin of satisfaction and confidence.
That should be us.