“My Driveway Discussion”

Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 in A Story, Blog | 0 comments

Do you have that place, you know, that familiar setting that without thinking it triggers a conversation with your Heavenly Father?

Sometimes you might not think you’re talking with God; maybe it’s more like self-talk. And, then again, maybe it’s a battle with the one who seeks to undermine your thoughts and steal your joy.

I have experienced seasons where I have gone in and out of each of these discussions. It is absolute joy when I experience the nearness of Father. But I must confess that this does not happen as much as I would hope. It seems that my self-talk moments and/or battles with the deceiver are more frequent than I’d like.

I have a few places that trigger self-reflection and conversation, but the most frequent venue is my driveway. Allow me to establish a parallel and the importance of a “place.” As a former football player, the locker room was a bit of a temple for me. In the final moments before a practice or game, you would find me seated right in front of my locker engaged in a dialogue with myself. Most of my time was spent visualizing my opponent’s formation, my pre-snap keys, and the time I had spent that week preparing for my opponent.

I wish I knew then what I know now. It was great when I did everything just right, when I set the corner on containment on a running play or made a good play on the ball on a pass attempt. But, bummer, if I made a bad read and got out of position on a play. How did I respond? Well, most likely self-condemnation hit like a sack of rocks. I didn’t develop the mental discipline or triggers to keep my mind fresh and ready for the next play. That would’ve been so liberating. I would’ve loved playing as that guy.

But, nonetheless, that place was important for me. It was a place of centering and preparation. So, fast forward 25 years. No more locker rooms. No more coaches. No more stadiums. So what game am I playing? No…better question: what battle am I fighting?

I’m convinced there’s a battle. And I’m pretty sure that the battleground (stadium) is my heart and the stakes are not wins or losses but rather my joy.

Let me see if I can make sense of this. Since my days as a student-athlete, my predominant roles in life are now husband, father, and professional. I am in a constant loop of measuring my performance. After all, that was my primary reason for playing ball – to compete. I loved it! But now after 20 plus years, I’m still competing. I have just begun to realize that there is a problem. I can feel the turmoil and unrest. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I have failed to convert my competitiveness to warfare. A good and trusted friend of mine gave me some great insight into my wiring. He said “Ron, you have a high competitive quotient, and that’s great. You have a heart of a lion. But if not cultivated by God’s grace, your competitiveness will turn to envy.” Then Father graciously gave me His truth on this topic:

“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” – James 3:16-18

This morning’s driveway discussion was an intimate conversation and a preparation for battle. I was tempted by the deceiver to measure, yet again, my performance. To tempt me to see how I was measuring up and how God was providing. He was dangling the carrot in front of me…go get it yourself. Go fill the void with new stuff. Go sulk in your self-centeredness. What a toxic loop. My response was . . .

My response was – no! I will not go alone to pursue false joy. I will wait today for you, my Lord. To be sure I was ready, I boldly asked Jesus to strengthen me in the waiting. While I am easily taken with the spoils of the earth and eager to know the score as I am competing in the marketplace, I am absolutely sick of going it alone. I’ve fallen too many times. Wrestling with this worn out game long enough, it is time to elevate the battle against the flesh and change the battleground that the enemy seeks. My victory is rooted in Jesus my Savior and fought on his terms. Quit trying to fight on the devil’s turf – my sin patterns.

So today, on Veterans Day and Armistice Day, I battle for freedom, and I have won. Praise the Lord, and I trust Him to provide a “harvest of righteousness” in his timing and in his way.

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