To our readers– I thank you all for your continued support and faithfulness to the B&F family. I pray you all receive the peace of God that transcends all understanding and that He pours many blessings into your New Year!
To the lovely ladies of B&F– I love you ladies and I am SO LUCKY to know you all and write alongside such talented young women. God bless you and yours in the New Year!
Feels good to be back so let’s dive in…
If you know me, you know that I have many loves including God, family, friends, colleagues/work, students, you know, the most important aspects of life. But there’s one love that I will forever carry with me, no matter what the circumstances may be, and that ladies and gentleman, are my Baltimore Ravens!!!! YES, my loyalty to the Ravens organization was birthed in 1996 when Baltimore once again received its own team with open arms, and thus became one of the best teams in franchise history (can you feel my passion lol?). To have watched players like Ray Lewis and Matt Stover play the game in my lifetime definitely secured my lifelong loyalty to the team, not to mention being witness to our two Superbowl wins in a 13-year timespan. ♥ Ok, I’m sure by now you can sense my genuine love for this team and my somewhat obsessive following of each season. If you follow football, then you also know that for the first time in 6 years, my boys
will not be playing a post-season game. That’s right, no playoffs for the defending Superbowl champs, whom, under the leadership and talent of 2013 Superbowl MVP Joe Flacco, has seen a playoff position every year since Flacco has been in the league, AND won at least one game in a playoff scenario.
So I know you’re wondering what in the world this has to do with faith or God, right? Well, after mourning the loss of our final regular season game, and reflecting over our entire season, the pain of that loss quickly wore off and here’s why: Ravens fans have been one spoiled bunch since the inception of our franchise, seeing lots of ups and wins, more than many teams in the league. We’ve gotten so used to winning that any loss is a painful one. We’ve gotten so used to a playoff run in the last five years, that we’ve come to expect it from our team. We have seen some of the strongest players in the league have amazing seasons, that when one play goes wrong on the field, we begin questioning the entire organization and voicing opinions that really carry no weight. When I thought about all of the incredible things that happened over the season, including the fact that we are defending Superbowl champs, I definitely couldn’t be mad.
It was in this reflection where I was able to draw parallels to the way we treat God when things don’t go our way. It seems we get so used to the God of provision and the God of grace and mercy that we come to almost expect it. We get so used to our limbs and senses working in perfect order that we wake up expecting that will be the case day in and day out. But let God give a “no” to something we’ve asked for, or let him allow something difficult to come our way and we turn into ungrateful “fans” who only bang with God when we’re winning. I love James 1:12 that says, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
There’s nothing worst than a football fan that wavers based on how the team is performing; similarly God wants followers who love and trust Him no matter what the season looks like.
As a closing thought, I challenge us to think about the ways in which we take the wins of life for granted; our eyesight, our ability to hear, being able to walk, being able to breathe on our own, a place to rest our head in 7 degree weather, etc. I then challenge us to think about how we can be loyal fans and followers of God who thank and appreciate Him for what He’s already done, and more importantly even in times where we may feel like we’re losing. Deuteronomy 6:5 reminds us, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
Just like it wasn’t the year of the Raven, I’ll remind you, it’s not always going to be YOUR season either. How will you act when you have a losing season?
Love and blessings in the New Year and I will catch yall next Saturday!