Now that we are fully immersed into the NFL preseason, it is important to keep some perspective about these exhibition games. They really don’t matter. I’m a lifelong Cleveland fan, and was happy that the Browns beat Detroit last Friday night—but I doubt anyone thinks the Browns are a better team than the Lions. At this stage of their development, the Lions are miles ahead of Cleveland. The results of exhibition games are virtually meaningless. Winning or losing, so important once the regular season begins, is not the issue now. The issue now is about one thing and one thing only—getting ready. Teams are experimenting with player combinations, formations, plays, and strategies, because they want to find out now what might work later. The outcomes of exhibition games? Not at all relevant. The point? Getting ready.
In almost every season of life, there is preparation involved for what we may face. This is particularly true of our service for Christ. In trying to prepare his protégé Timothy for service, Paul warned him about the danger of those things that could dishonor both us and our Lord, saying:
Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. (2 Tim.2:21)
All of this combines together in a heart committed to honoring our Savior. It involves being set apart for His use (“sanctified”) and it involves a commitment (“cleanses”) to personal purity. This is not all there is to being ready for opportunities to serve Christ and others, but it is a key part. If we are to be useful for the Master, we begin where anything important begins. We begin by getting ready.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain