As I sat in the bleachers watching the last few minutes of football conditioning camp while waiting to pick up one of my boys, I noticed that some of the kids would run full-blast most of the way and then slow down just shy of the yard line in their sprinting exercise.
The coach noticed, too, and as he called all the kids together afterward, I overheard him say something like this: “Run it through the yard line! Don’t jog the last few yards! Do more than you are told, not less! If a coach tells you to run 30 yards, then you run 35! If your parent tells you to mow the yard, then you weed-eat it, too! You’ll be amazed at how much better your life will be if you’ll do more than what is expected from you!”
I resisted the urge to shout, “Amen!” from the stands, but wow – that was far more than just a football lesson. That was a life truth. I could write a laundry list (starting with the laundry, as a matter of fact!) of ways my own kids try to squeak by with doing the bare minimum that they are told (sometimes, repeatedly) to do. It’s easy to point my finger and identify their shortcomings.
Truth be told, though, are we adults any better?
- Do we treat our work schedule like the Flintstones’ whistle and run out the door at 5:00pm sharp, all the while arriving late and taking a long lunch?
- Do we bark at the kids to make good choices while modeling our own bad habits in front of them?
- Do we throw a few bucks in the offering plate every now & then so we don’t feel guilty, because actually budgeting and tithing would be too much effort?
- Do we just assume that “someone else” is going to meet the needs of the community and/or the church instead of stepping up to the plate and volunteering?
Too often, we fall short of the goal line because we fail to run it through. We slack off. We operate with a what’s-in-it-for-me attitude, instead of this mindset from Colossians 3:23 (CEB): “Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord and not for people.”
How much more smoothly would our jobs, households and church function if we actually lived like we serve a higher authority than ourselves? I reckon we’d be amazed.