The NFL Draft and the Relentless Pursuit of Perfection

I love sports, I really do. But today made me think on a little deeper level. I was at a restaurant this afternoon and featured on the flatscreen tv was ESPN with the hosts of SportsCenter discussing the upcoming NFL draft.

As they showed clips of potential draft picks and debated their "stock" in the draft, it made me think
about many millions of dollars are poured into this game in the relentless pursuit of perfection. Every year is "bigger, faster, stronger." New training techniques are created, new technology leads to better play review and each athlete is honed for greatness on the field and hopefully a winning season for the team.

It's not enough to be "good enough" or "relatively great" but one must be THE BEST, THE GREATEST and every coach wants to develop a sure path to victory and drop any old methods that no longer work. The work is endless and relentless, all for something that quickly passes away and into faded film archives, only to be relived by those who really care.

I bet if you ask the coaches at Alabama and Atlanta, they will tell you that how you live, practice and play the game matters. I doubt any of them would say, "well, practice routines and game plays really don't matter. You can win no matter what. You don't have to sacrifice or strive for success." As if!

Enter into real life- how we live out masculinity and femininity, how we live out our sexuality as a gift or waste it in selfishness. It's funny how a society that pursues greatness in sports, business and education misses the mark on the most important thing.

In our woundedness and laziness, we say that it doesn't matter how we live out our sexuality or what we do with it. In the most important battle, we lay down and remain defenseless and ignorant. In our woundedness and laziness as a society, we accept and promote fornication, adultery, abortion (look at the Kermit Gosnell trial), same-sex unions, pornography and more because we don't want to pursue greatness or live up to our destiny.

We are so broken and blind as a people that we don't feel our hearts and souls aching for more. We settle for brokenness and try to somehow normalize it because the other option is seemingly too hard.

And yet, the heart never ceases calling the person to something more. God made us this way. Even if we are dead in our laziness and our brokenness, God the Healer, calls and pursues us. He is the master of raising the dead and healing the broken-hearted. That's what He does.

I often have to ask myself if I pursue and receive healing from my own brokenness with the same ardor as the potential NFL draft pick pursues a spot on the team. Do I really care? Is it worth it?

The path of a disciple, an intimate relationship with Jesus, is overwhelmingly "worth it." As Pope Francis told us today, "Jesus’ ascension into heaven does not mean his absence, but that he is alive among us in a new way, close to each one of us."

He gives us the grace to overcome and heal our blindness, laziness and ignorance. With Him we can do all things.

Awake, hearts that are broken and asleep. It's time to wake up.


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