Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3 NRSV
Each year since 1967, there has been a matchup between the best football teams. Yesterday's winner, in case you weren't watching (after all, the Patriots weren't playing), was the Kansas City Chiefs over the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35. But that is how the season ended. The season begins with every team member, owner, and player preparing for the season. Together, they play every game with a singular purpose, winning that game with the hopes of advancing to the Super Bowl. They are "in it, to win it."
Commitment just doesn't come; however, it's a matter of believing what is possible. Not just of oneself but of the group. While each player has their job, and they constantly hone their skills, they are only one member of a team. Therefore, they must also learn to trust the abilities of others, knowing that the receiver will be where the quarterback needs them.
Commitment is listening and obedience. Hours are spent studying the playbook and countless more hours in drills and practices. The coaches critique the players, constantly encouraging them to improve, and the committed player listens attentively and makes adjustments.
As followers of Christ, we should be no less committed to our work. Not just what we typically think of as "church work" but in all things. We learn to rely on Christ and remember we are surrounded by a faith community, each with its gifts and talents.
Our playbook, of course, is God's word. His divine wisdom given to different individuals and circumstances over time. For every situation, there's a play in the book. In prayer, we listen for guidance and modify our actions in obedience.
What we have to win is not simply a trophy and ring but a crown. What we have to win is not some material object but eternal life.
Gracious and loving Father, we commit ourselves to you. We thank you for the hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Establish our plans. Open our minds to understanding, our ears to listening, and our hearts to obedience. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.