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by Rubel Shelly
Jesus used to be able to see a spiritual lesson in just about everything going on around him. He saw a man sowing seed in his field; thus the Parable of the Sower. He walked by a body of water and saw a man fishing; the Parable of the Net was a natural. He heard about the treacherous road leading from Jerusalem to Jericho; so the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Got the picture?
There are probably more messages like these in your life or mine than we have the spiritual sensitivity to recognize. But heres one you may have already picked up on from last weeks sports section of your newspaper.
Emmitt Smith made NFL history again on October 27, 2002, by becoming the all-time leading rusher in professional football. He broke the late Walter Paytons previous league rushing record of 16,726 yards (Now well over 17,000 yards after his sterling Thanksgiving Day performance against the Washington Redskins!). It was his 20th time to carry the ball in a game against the Seattle Seahawks. He gained 11 yards when he burst through a hole off left tackle as his daughter held up a sign that read Run Daddy Run and 63,853 other fans at Texas Stadium cheered him on.
Pretty impressive, dont you think?
In a sport played by people as extolled as Barry Sanders, Jim Brown, and the like?
Okay. Maybe the Wheaties box doesnt belong in the list! But have you thought about the spiritual lesson of his achievement even if you arent a football fan or couldnt care less about NFL records?
Theres a lesson in that for all of us. You have goals. There are people who love you who want you to succeed. A lot is at stake for you, your family, or you company. But its not easy. And youve been knocked down and bruised.
Dont quit. As the Parable of Persevering Emmitt teaches, success at anything most typically comes in tiny increments against resistance over time.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us-they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-5)
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