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I will have a hard time hiding the fact that I’m a sports fan on this blog, so why fight it?

I was really happy that Oliver Stone’s movie, “Any Given Sunday” was on local TV this past Saturday because it meant that I’d be able to enjoy the movie without all the stuff that would make me never want to rent it.

There’s a scene in it that stands out to me (probably because, as a New York Giants fan growing up, I WORSHIPPED Lawrence Taylor). There is a scene in which LT plays a grizzled veteran who is on his last legs, issuing advice to a young up-and-comer (Jamie Foxx) who has his whole life in front of him. He talks profoundly about what defines a person:

“Let me tell you something: For every sucker who makes it, for every Barry Sanders, for every Jerry Rice, there’s a hundred n______ you never heard of. Sure. The game’s taught you how to strut, how to talk s___, how to hit. But what else? Suddenly, there’s no more money, no more women, no more applause. No more dream. This is what I’m trying to say to you. When a man Iooks back on his life, he should be proud of all of it. Not just the years he spent in pads and cleats. Not just memories of when he was great. You gotta learn that in here. [He points to his heart.] Or if you don’t, you ain’t a man, you’re just another punk.”

It’s interesting because these lines were read by a real-life football player who was addicted to drugs for most of his career and is now sitting in jail because of his involvement with an underage prostitute.

Even so, God created Lawrence Taylor to be His– to live for Him.

Where I live, sports are king. It’s pretty amazing to see how families will sacrifice money, integrity, and church for their kids to become the next Lebron, Manning, or Pujols.

But, man, don’t we want our kids to dream about bigger things? It doesn’t matter if a kid can finally hit that jumper, get around that blocker, or master hitting an off-speed pitch if he or she has no idea who they are inside (in Christ).

God created us to be His.

That’s why I love being a part of the family ministry team at New Harvest. We’re doing the best we can to counteract this idea that if you’re “great” at sports, or “hot,” or “talented” that you’ve got it all. You may have what the world defines as “it all” for a little while. To be the guy who hits the shot, to be the homecoming queen, to be the one with the highest SAT score may all seem to be the goal in life. But there’s more than that. We’re teaching our families to “imagine the end.” WHO do you want your kid to become is a far more important question than WHAT do we want them to do. If you can IMAGINE THE END, it will the determine WHAT we do today.

God created us to be His.

It must be hard to be an athlete, rock star, or hot and then watch it slip away when that’s all you had– that’s what defined you. That’s why players play for far too long, singers become silly caricatures of what they used to be, and the plastic surgery industry is booming. When that’s what defines you, you’ve got to cling to it to preserve you.

God created us to be His.

So imagine the end for your kids.

How would the priorities of our homes and (specifically) our CALENDARS change if we imagined the end for our kids?


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