Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

“…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…”
Hebrews 12:1b-2a (NIV)

You can feel it when it happens. Fall happens, and the signals are everywhere.

The breeze seems a bit more brisk and cool. Our American flag seems to billow with a bit more purpose from its post on the outside of our home.

Major League baseball playoffs are in the midst of their trek toward the fall classic of the World Series. And college football fan(atic)s are hanging on to hopes of championships despite the obvious fallibility of their favorite teams.

This past weekend some of the top-ranked college football teams in the nation won, some lost. They showed up, kicked off, ran and passed the football up and down the field for three-plus hours—and many won. And for many football fans of the winning teams, their world was still in good shape. Their hopes for a championship were still intact. Winning is the key, of course—and many won.

Or, is winning the key?

And whether it is or not, did they really win?

I wonder instead if “why” they’re doing what they are doing, matters more.

For if it’s all about “what” they do—the result, the score, the win, the ultimate championship—then indeed they may have won the game. But, what if we look deeper into “why” we do it.

What if there should be a bigger picture, a bigger purpose to “what” they do? And to “what” we do? What if it is about looking beyond ourselves, and making a difference in the lives of others, those on the team, and all those who follow them? What if it should really be about looking within, at who we are, and “why” we do what we do every day?

About recognizing the platforms we have been given—whether “top-ranked-teams,” or coaches, parents, grandparents, or business executives, athletes or celebrities, pastors or churches, or just ordinary people just like you and like me. Platforms we all have to make a difference.

Platforms which look at the “why”— the purpose—of our lives and show up in things like—

Doing the right thing even when it may not be in our best interests
Lifting lives—directly or by the example of ours—to a brighter day
Being a shining light, a positive influence, for others in the midst of a the difficulties of their days
Raising a next generation of healthy, secure and loved children, who have the confidence to step out into the unknown of their own futures
Glorifying God in everything we think, say and do—whether winning or losing
Fixing our eyes on Christ, Who first showed us the way.
Because, my friends, if “what” we do is designed only to win—there will not only be times when we lose—but we also may lose along the way by missing the moments to become all we were meant to be, and help others do the same.

But if “why” is our guide, then along the way in striving for wins and experiencing losses, we will become all we were created to be. And the impact of our lives on others will take on an eternal significance.

We will be building in, and adding value to the lives around us, we’ll be an authentic witness to others in the midst of adversity, make a difference, change the world around us, and evoke smile-after-smile from the God Who created us.

Then we will have succeeded—even in the midst of our wins or losses.

I wonder what the “top ranked” teams’ list would look like if measured against that guide? I wonder which teams would be included.

Just something to think about—and do something about—today and everyday for the rest of our lives.

In His Name—Scott