Monday, February 6, 2012

MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK

OK, by the time you're reading this, the Super Bowl will be over.

Most wives would send up a big cheer over that little bit of news.

Not me.

I LOVE football!

I usually watch more of it than "The Hub" – because I’m really *into* college football, too. And I'm gonna miss it until pre-season games start in August.

(I’ll let you in on a little secret – my favorite player? Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. I think he's a great player, and he's cute. And please don't tell anyone about my crush on Tim Tebow, who happens to be younger than my youngest son…but hey, who's counting??)

Who was I rooting for in the Super Bowl?

Well, let's just say that the match-up between the N. Y. Giants and the New England Patriots garnered the same feelings from me as the upcoming presidential election. A whole lot of "I don't like anyone" with a little dollop of "I don't really care because it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of difference what I think" thrown in there for good measure. (Wow, where did that little tidbit of political cynicism come from??)

Back to football.

There is something known as a "Monday Morning Quarterback."

Defined like this:

American football: A person who criticizes or passes judgment with benefit of hindsight. Monday morning refers to the games played or broadcast on weekends, with criticisms leveled by a spectator the following week.

(Applied to general situations): A Monday morning quarterback is someone who is always criticizing and saying how he would have done something better or differently after the event has passed.

And I just LOVE this example – (wish I had thought of it!):

An example of a Monday morning quarterback is a person who talks about how he would never have bought those curtains, after they have already been installed and have been found to clash with the sofa.

So, I'm having a bit of Monday morning quarterbacking going on today.

Last week I added photos to my blog posts for the first time in my 1½-year history. First of all, I really wanted to share with all of you what "The Hub" looks like! Then, after that post published, I sorta liked the look of a photo at the beginning of my post…

So, I did it again.

I love that picture on Wednesday's post – "The Hub" took it on a visit to a small mountain village that we love to visit. And I thought that mountain photo fit my subject matter pretty well.

I thought – "I'm gonna start adding photos. I like looking at photos on other people's blogs. And I've got some really cool pictures."

But, here’s the deal.

The more I've been thinking about it – the more I’m *looking back* – I'm re-thinking the whole deal. My "Monday morning quarterback" isn't so sure that this change fits me.

It's kinda like seeing a really cool dress that looks great on someone else – and then trying it on for yourself. The dress is wonderful, and you're pretty darn cute – but somehow, the two just don't go together quite right.

That's how I'm feeling (on Monday morning, looking back) – so I'm going back to just my words.

(See note about photos at the end of this post - I've come to a compromise decision!)

There's gotta be a lesson in this, right?!

Do you ever do some "Monday morning quarterbacking" in your faith journey?

I sure do.

There have been many moments when I look back at my "wandering" years and think that they were much easier. Not so much stress – not so much questioning – not so much angst of spirit.

I just kinda did life – and didn't worry about it too much.

There were problems, yes – of course. Life is always bringing on those pesky problems.

But there didn't seem to be the more subtle *attack* feeling I have felt since following Jesus again.

I think that's the answer.

When you decide to follow Jesus, a spiritual aspect enters into your life. Now, I've been a believer all my life – but I did do some "prodigalling"(if you're asking if that's a word…yes, it is now!)

But when I really turned my life over to Him – when I asked Him to be my LORD and not just my Savior – oh boy. Things heated up.

Evidently, following Jesus is not a popular decision with the enemy. And making that choice opens the door for spiritual attacks. Pick up your weapons, friend – there's going to be war.

Frankly, this is part of the reason that sometimes I'm afraid to trust Jesus. I don't like being on Satan's radar. I don't want him to come after me.

The ugly truth is this – there is some safety in complacency.

Following – being a disciple – is not an easy path.

I believe that's why Jesus was so very clear about making that choice intentionally. He advised us to count the cost. He warned us that cross-carrying is difficult business.

"If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison…yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. But don't begin until you count the cost…So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own." (Luke 14: 26-28, 33)

"If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it."
(Matthew 16:24-25)

Stern stuff.

I talk about this with my sons, with my friends.

Wasn't it easier before we turned our lives over to the Lord?

In some ways, yes. But, there's really no turning back, is there? Because once you love Jesus with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength you can only go forward with Him.

It's the only choice.

So, this Monday morning quarterback (me) is looking back at Sunday's choice to become a disciple. Truthfully, I'm not regretting it at all.

A little scared about some of the requirementsnot sure what's coming afraid of the battles and worried about the attacks.

However, in the Super Bowl of Life, I know the Winner.

And He leads my team – He's the quarterback.

I'll let Him call the plays.

I'm ready.


What do you think about when you look back at your faith journey? What has been the cost of discipleship for you?



(I've decided to add something new on my sidebar - MY PHOTO ALBUM - located right after My Word for 2012, and My Verses for 2012 - so I can feature some of those pictures I want to share with you. Also, if you scroll down a bit, you'll see a lovely picture of a hawk (not mine) - post link. And, a picture of a seaweed holdfast (yes, mine) - post link.
Phew, a lot of business...)


Linked today with:
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

16 comments:

  1. Well Sharon, I'm like you...I think a lot about things and sometimes change my mind. But i don't watch much football, not even our own Aaron Rodgers. I do most of my rethinking at night or when i take my walk in the morning. I wanted only photos on my blog, but sometimes words seemed necessary...I worked that out one night. Rethinking things reminds me of Thomas, the doubter. He thought about things, but didn't get stuck there...he moved from doubt to belief. I think about my relationship with Christ...I rethink doors that were open and closed, but like you, I never look back on that decision to follow Him. I certainly don't understand God totally, but I keep working on it. And like you said, it's the only choice. There is no turning back, and I am eternally grateful.

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  2. Sharon, I had not ever heard the term Monday morning quarterback but I could claim that title for myself. I have had so many episodes of changing my mind or simply rehearsing a decision over and over again in my mind.

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  3. Excellent way to tie the morning after to the Pilgrim's Path. I love it, and I stand with you. I know the road ahead is not necessarily easy by the world's standards, but I would not go back for anything. I don't look back at my Egypt as being anything but what it was and is. BONDAGE.

    And get your cougar paws off of Tim Tebow. He's my future son-in-law. Did I forget to tell you that?

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  4. As for football..I have learned to enjoy the players...my favorite Colt McCoy and Tebow...those that stand for their faith. As a mom of five boys who play sports, well I had to learn. So I am into the players lives, not the ball, but can get excited when they are successful in both.

    The ugly truth is this – there is some safety in complacency.

    This is so true. I seem to have always stepped out of the norm..and with it paid the price. I am the only one of the four in our family that walks with the Lord, even though we were all raised in a Christian household. At times that stand has cost a lot, but I have never thought of walking away for my relationship, but I have counted the cost at times and to be honest had a pity party.

    Great post...as always.

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  5. Was life easier in the period when I wasn't following after God? Yes
    But it wasn't better ... it absolutely wasn't better.
    It's so simple to equate "easy" with "good", to make "easy" enviable (ESPECIALLY in times when thing's aren't so easy). But the time of my life that I spent without God was so empty ... It wasn't hard, but it wasn't fulfilling either. Nothing I did, nothing I achieved was able to satisfy me.

    Living without God was like trying to live off of baby food and formula. Was it easier to digest, sure ... but it was never enough.

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  6. Interesting post. I watched some of the game. I like football better than I used to because I used to not like it at all. I like Tim Tibow too though, and I'm old enough to be his grandmother. I like the quarterback analogy. If the team didn't pay attention to the quarterback they wouldn't win many games. I think there is a lesson there for us. As for pictures, I like 'em. Of course photography has been one of my hobbies for many years.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  7. Hi Sharon,

    As always you have put this so well. You often seem to manage to put some of what I have been thinking and feeling. i.e. "A little scared about some of the requirements – not sure what's coming – afraid of the battles and worried about the attacks.

    However, in the Super Bowl of Life, I know the Winner.

    And He leads my team – He's the quarterback.

    I'll let Him call the plays."

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  8. Interesting post again, Sharon. Love how you brought it all together. I have a very happy hubby as he is a huge Giants fan, being a New Yorker and all. I am not into sports at all but I love Tim Tebow.
    Blessings~

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  9. Yes to Tim Tebow and Aaron Rogers both! :)

    I agree... complacency can be easier, but the thing for all of us that sin is just no fun anymore! None of would want to go back to any of those days. He has changed our hearts and our desires, so we might as well get off of that couch and quit being Monday morning quarterbacks, whenever the temptation arises! :)

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  10. Well, here in Jersey - less than three hours from Giant's territory, we have our Giant's fans and had quite a party at church with the big screen TVs and too much food. My son in is New England though, so I felt bad for all our friends up there.

    The cost of discipleship - after 27 years - that's too long a story - suffice to say - no regrets, no looking back. So blessed to be His and safe in His arms!

    Joy!
    Kathy

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  11. We're on God's football team - right? sandie

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  12. I love it...The Superbowl of Life"! You have such a way with words, Sharon! But, yes...let's see. As I look back on my journey of faith, there have been some things that I've lost (friends, things, jobs, etc.) However, in the scheme of things the balance falls heavily on the side of Jesus! He has carried me through some challenging times. I know that without Him I would have drowned in the stormy waters that life throws at us sometimes. In Him, I also have hope in a future forever with Him. He fills the emptiness that so often is inside of us...and He fills it with love that is so real, nothing else comes close! So, as I look back, I am not sorry at all about choosing to follow Jesus. With Him, I'll win this "Superbowl of Life!"

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  13. We watched bits and pieces of the game but like you we had no favorites, so not much interest. I have learned to enjoy football because of my son's...they are both big football fans, so a little rubbed off.
    There is a cost that goes with discipleship, of that there is no doubt but I could not even imagine what my life would be like without Christ...when the storms of life felt like they would swallow me up it Christ was who sustained me and will continue to. No regrets

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  14. To has been what the Patriots must have felt like -- thinking they were doing so well. How does the devil cause the fumbling anyway? I'm thankful you reminded me who the winner is. Sometimes in the heart battle those reminders keep us hanging on. (I was a happy girl when the Giants won -- those sweet Manning boys, ha!)

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  15. WOW Sharon, Great feedback on this one and you really do have a great way of making every topic enjoyable and spiritual!!!

    SUPER lesson on Mon. Morning Quarterback and us being on the best SUPERBOWL team and Super Bowl of Life!

    Being a true disciple or follower of Christ definitely is not easy, and without a cost!
    I think you know me well enough to know my answers to your final questions. Not too good at being a "Mon. morning quarterback" and actually I'm kinda the opposite of you in that my "wandering years" leave me with many regrets and not at all easier for me because of being torn, broken and very critical of myself. I think what I read in Renee's Confident Heart (Chap.5) applies to this turning..."a turning point. I wanted to burn the image in my mind. Turning away from the shadow and toward the light..."

    "Turning would be crucial.

    Turning away from self
    Turning toward God
    Turning away from doubt
    Turning toward truth
    Turning away from darkness
    Turning toward light"


    I could not stop with just that part above because this speaks volumes to all you have written so well and so beautifully as always
    (your words are your pictures-and I heard some bloggers reaching a limit and being asked to pay or something, so once again you have choosen the better way...) continuing with Renee's words:

    "Turning is crucial for us as we learn to live beyond the shadows of our doubts. Turning toward God, so we can listen to what He says about who we are and what we can do. Turning toward truth, so we can know who He is and what He wants to do through our lives as we depend on Him. Turning toward the light of God’s promises for us in every area of our lives—as a woman, a mom, a wife, a friend, a leader, a follower of Jesus—so our life can be about living, loving, and leading others to the light of God’s truth as we walk it out in our everyday lives."

    Swope, Renee (2011-08-01). Confident Heart, A (Kindle Locations 1291-1294). Revell. Kindle Edition.

    Really good tie in to my faith journey and current study. Thank you as always for your expertise! Way to go, football fan and feasting on your vast knowledge!!!

    Love and HUGS,
    Peggy

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"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)