Welcome to First Presbyterian Church of Independence Iowa!
BE YOUR BEST!
Football practice was over and the Highland Park High School football team headed in to shower before going home. I was new to the school. This was my third High School in three years. I was making friends, mostly with the other Army “brats” that were on the football team. As I was getting dressed I noticed that all the money in my wallet was gone. Now as a High School junior I didn’t have a lot of cash, but what I had was gone. And I was livid.
I went home mad and I didn’t care who knew it. When my dad arrived after work I told him what happened and that I was going to quit the football team. I didn’t want to be around people like that. My dad listened to my rant patiently and then said something I have always remembered. “John, you can quit. But understand that once you go down that road it keeps getting easier. The next time you face adversity it will be easier to quit again, and again, and again.” The man I respect most in my life is my dad. I listened to his words. I didn’t quit. I stayed on the team. I wanted to quit. And I have wanted to quit many things since then. But my dad’s words rung true. And as I have grown older I have in profound ways discovered the wisdom of them.
Jesus said this about quitting. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.” Jesus is speaking about those who desire to be his followers. Most of us tend to start well, but we don’t always finish well. Why? As we go along we realize what this is going to cost us. Not just in terms of money and time. But most especially in emotional energy.
Life does a lot to upset us. Every day we face circumstances and people that will test us often to our breaking point. We feel the anger rise within us. We want to say or do something to set things right and express our displeasure. We want to explode. A friend of mine, Pam Mumm, recently shared this with me. “When you are about to be at your worst, who do you want to be?” As a person, as a follower of Jesus, what will be our reputation? What do you want people to think about you?
People’s bad behavior doesn’t need my company. We are surrounded by people who create drama and want us to jump in because the water is fine. Our worst is always present, just waiting to come out. The temptation is to quit trying to be the person we want to be and become our worst. And when we do that, and we do, we usually live to regret it.
Who do you want to be? The apostle Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” We are always at our best when we live by faith in the Son of God, the one whose followers we claim to be. My worst is always lurking. Every day there will be the opportunity to quit being the person God wants you to be. Thank God I can be my best! We can choose a better way.
Make it so .
Avri's youth group video from this past year... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfjPEPIpeBY&feature=youtube_gdata_player&app=desktop