God’s Word for Today: Participant. At first, in our week of “fanatic”, I was going to use the word “player”. That just didn’t quite cover it. Then, some little voice, actually a very powerful one, said “participant”. Thus, that is our final word for the week.
When I think of the word participant, my first vision is that little green ribbon you receive when you didn’t win any prize, but you at least participated. I am pretty sure that a majority of those little green ribbons are never displayed in one’s trophy case. Because of these little green ribbons and their symbolizing loss, our poor word participant does not get very much credit. It is like “Oh, big deal, you participated, why didn’t you win anything”? Or, “everybody gets one of those participant ribbons, it has no merit.” What a gloomy view we have attached to participant.
So, let’s think of this whole thing from a fanatic stand point. We are in the nose bleed section of the stadium. Looking down from almost the clouds, we can barely make out the players. The Big Screen is our only hope of really seeing what is going on. We sure wish we had brought our binoculars. We also have a little hidden wish that keeps knocking on the door of our conscious. It is saying “What if my name came up on the Big Screen, and they were calling me to come down and play?” Or, I wish I could be one of the cheerleaders, or be playing in the marching band, or be on the coaching staff, or be one of the referees, or be the person who interviews the players.” Any one of those things. Or, many other professions involved in the whole scheme of the game could be what one desires to be. You are OK with being a fanatic. You can do your part in cheering on the team. But secretly, you really wish you were down on the field as a participant.
Philippians 3:14. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
This little Verse of Scripture is actually the Big Screen calling. God is saying, “You have been a fanatic long enough. I want you in the game.” The comfortable seat you have taken in God’s stadium clear in the upper section is being taken from you. God wants you to start working your way down on to the field. That desire and dream you have quietly had for so long is now becoming a reality. It is time to stop watching and start participating.
Here is where the crossroads come into play. You are being paged. You are wanted for a greater purpose. Your little comfort zone is being unraveled. So, you start working your way down to the field. Even though you desperately wanted to be a participant, you are scared. You are afraid to give up your seat. What if you fail and your seat is no longer there when you come back. Or, you like the dream of participating, but your seat is very comfortable and the popcorn and soda vendor come by at regular intervals. You seem to have plenty to do in that seat. There is the usual cheering, the reviewing of the program, the people sitting next to you that you have to visit with, your whole routine of life is going to be upset.
So, with these thoughts in mind as you get closer to God’s calling you, you take a really good look at the exit door. Your mind is telling you all the different ways you could fail doing God’s work. You are thinking of all the fanatics still in the stadium that will laugh at your mistake and ridicule you. That exit door is really appealing. You have taken it before and enjoyed the temporary highs of this world. You know what that exit door has in store for you, and it seems so much easier than having to go onto the field and participate.
But today is different. You have taken that exit door before and have found your way back in to God’s Stadium. For some reason, He has always kept your seat for you. Your ticket into the Stadium has already been paid for. You can come back at any time. The difference is, that exit door has gotten very small. Its appeal is worn out. You are stronger now. You are not as concerned with what other people think. You are now ready for better things. You have what it takes to be down on the field. God gave you a gift. He now is calling you to use it.
Today, would be a really good day to start focusing on what God has called for you to do. You know what Gift He has given you. You know at what part of the Game of Life that you could excel at. It is time to leave your stadium seat once and for all. You part as a fanatic is complete. It is time to walk right past that exit door, and go down onto the field. There will be many ushers and ticket checkers who will question you on the way. God has you covered. All obstacles will step aside. It is time that you now participate……………