Get out of the stands and into the game

Get out of the stands and into the game

(Okay, first things first. We are going to reveal some very exciting news at our services this weekend. You won’t want to hear this second-hand!)

Now—I still remember the school we played. It was Washington. A tough, inner-city (at least as inner-city as Yakima got at the time) football team. I was playing on the West Valley Rams freshman football team. We were pretty small—and pretty pathetic. In fact, we barely had enough players on the team to fill out an offensive and defensive squad. And there were several guys who played both ways. Like I said, pretty pathetic.

I started on defense—as a linebacker—and was backup quarterback. And I remember well that we were getting our hind ends kicked. All over the field. They were running right over the top of our defense and eating our offense’s lunch.

At one point in the second half, when it was clear that our first-string offense didn’t have a chance, the coach figured it was a good chance to give the second stringers some “experience”—which meant allowing the rest of us to get bruised and broken. The coach called out to me, “Toone—do you want to go in as quarterback?” And I said—“No.”

I wish it was a more heroic turn to the story. But I was, frankly, intimidated. Those guys scared me. I didn’t want to play anymore. And I’d taken enough of a beating on the other side or the ball. So when the coach’s call came—I said, “No.” Not even “No, thank you.” Just “No.”

This weekend, we begin a series called, “Get in the Game.” There are a lot of us Christians who are sitting in the stands—but haven’t really gotten into the game. Maybe we are afraid. Maybe we feel ill-equipped. Maybe we are just too beaten up. But when the call comes, like me, we just say, “No.”

I’d love to encourage you to get in the game and hopefully, these messages will do that. So come this weekend, bring a friend—and no pom-poms! (And you really WILL be excited about the news I have to share!)

Pastor Mark Toone