Tonight I watched my high school alma-mater compete in the Arkansas high school football state championship game for the second time in my lifetime. I was at both games. The preceding event was twenty years ago and I admittedly remember very little about the game other than it was bitter cold. Tonight’s game still rings vividly in my mind. The hard hits, almost plays, and intense effort of players on both sides of the line of scrimmage, as well as the clamoring emotion of the crowd, are a testament to the passion my old hometown reserves for its beloved mascot and pastime. It is and has always been a football town.
Chiefly this is probably one of my biggest points of disconnection with my hometown as I have never been overly fond of football. I do appreciate the athleticism it requires and the strategic minds of those who guide the combatting forces from the sidelines. One thing that I love about watching young athletes is their heart. They lay it all on the line every play. They hold nothing back. They give it their best.
Tonight their very best moment came on the opening drive of the second half as a repeated series of small running gains led to the team’s only touchdown of the game. I enjoyed watching the crowd’s response to the effort of those boys. There was a suspended moment of elation and euphoria as the hundreds of fans in attendance all erupted in a brief celebration of hope. Sadly, it would not last. They would go on to lose the game 28-7, but there was no doubt that they did their best.
What about your best? What does your best look like? Is it the same today as it was ten years ago, or will be ten years from now? Like those young athletes, are you willing to lay yourself on the line, are you willing to be spent for something?
The truth is, all too often our best will not add up to produce the results we desire to attain. Sometimes that is because our desires are skewed. Sometimes it is just because someone is better, but always we can, and should, know that giving our best is pleasing to God.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men… (Colossians 3:17, 23 ESV)
Even better–God gave his best for us, all of us, He gave himself. Thankfully, even though our best may sometimes miss the mark, His never has and never will.