Whom Do You Expect Will Have a Better Season?

 

I am a sports fan, though I’m not nearly as connected nor as passionate a sports fan as I used to be. As a boy, I lived and died with the Cincinnati Reds—my mood determined by the win-loss column of the Big Red Machine. I still enjoy sports. I love it when my team wins and I can get quite exercised watching a game that I care about the outcome. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that when I open Firefox, it isn’t just CNN.com that opens; ESPN.com opens as well.

I noticed today that ESPN’s Sportsnation poll is this question: Whom do you expect will have a better season? Both of these young men are rookie quarterbacks who are expected to start for their respective teams. Both were phenomenal college quarterbacks and both have played pretty well in the preseason. The real season, however, is often a different story.

The poll caused me to ponder my own anticipatory questions for the year ahead. Who in our congregation will make spiritual strides this year? Who will struggle to trust God? Who will face suffering and pain? Who will walk through a year of relative ease? Who will find fulfillment in their work? Who will feel overwhelmed with frustration and disappointment about their work? Which relationship will blossom into marriage? Which will not? Which ministry will gain? Which will decline?

As I think about the school year that is about to begin, I wonder about my own life and ministry—what kind of “season” will I have. Where will I experience the joy of service? What will cause me to yearn for more recognition? Where will I excel? Where will I fall short? Of course, ministry is harder to measure than being the quarterback of a football team. Ministry is not wins and losses or even statistics; nevertheless, we all want to feel that we are making progress, doing better, serving more effectively.

I don’t have answers to the questions; I’m simply pondering them. Perhaps in nine months we will know more. In the meantime, the questions cause me to do all that I can to be in the place of service God calls me to be. I hope that you are as well.

By the way, in case you were wondering, Andrew Luck won the fans’ poll with 66% of the more than 63,000 votes cast. Only time will tell if they were right.