In one of our church offices hangs a rather large poster. The associate minister is a sports fan whose favorite football player is John Elway, so he allows everyone the opportunity to view his favorite gridiron performer's image each time they walk into his office.
Just a few weeks ago, John Elway retired from the sport of professional football. He accomplished many great feats as an athlete. He played the sport he loved for 16 years for the Denver Broncos football team. He threw footballs for a mind-boggling 51,475 yards over his career (2nd all-time) and retires as the league's winningest quarterback, with 148 victories. He threw 300 touchdown passes over his career (2nd all-time), and rallied his team to 47 comeback victories, also a league record.
During Elway's retirement press conference, he broke into tears on numerous occasions. He loved the game of football and his teammates to the point that he didn't want it all to end. Elway summed up his reason for hanging up his jersey simply by saying tearfully, "I couldn't do it anymore. I can't anymore. I can't compete at the level I want to compete at. That's what it came down to."
As Christians, you and I never have to retire from serving our Lord. Unfortunately, many of us do. We serve him for a while, then decide to sit back and watch others from the sidelines as they shoulder the burden of service. Paul urged his listeners in 2 Thessalonians 3:13 to "never tire of doing what is right." The apostle Peter also stresses the importance of being a godly servant when he wrote, "If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen" (1 Peter 4:11b NIV).
John Elway has reached the end of a brilliant career. For the Christian, a career of servanthood is a lifetime commitment. There will be times when we may feel like hanging up our spiritual cleats and calling it quits, but God has promised to strengthen us in times of weakness. Still have doubts? Just read His promise from His prophet Isaiah:
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV).