Another of the qualities that separated the Twelve from everybody else who interacted with Jesus during his ministry here was their great capacity to trust. They trusted Jesus completely. Entirely. Unflinchingly.
I’m ashamed to admit that more than a couple of times in my life I’ve been sucked into the buy 14 CDs for a penny scam. It took several times, but I don’t trust those kinds of offers anymore. We don’t trust Joe Isuzu. We have a hard time trusting politicians, lawyers, and used car salesmen. And preachers. Cynicism and skeptism are second nature to us.
But Jesus is no used car salesman. He doesn’t ask you to follow him so he can take what’s yours and make it his. He seeks you out to save you, to enjoin you in an eternal relationship. But Jesus still didn’t inspire awe and faith in everyone who saw him or heard him teach. Not everyone decided to follow him. Not everyone believed him. It takes a trusting heart to be moved by Jesus.
The apostles left everything. They left homes and family and jobs and security and comfort for rejection and ridicule and uncertainty and suffering. They followed him all the way to Jerusalem, knowing they were heading straight for trouble.
Jesus says, “Trust me.”
“All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me,” he says. “Trust me.”
The apostles deemed Jesus trustworthy. Is he? Is Jesus as trustworthy as he claims to be?
Look back over your own life, your own experiences with him. Every single time he’s warned you that some action would be harmful to you by calling it “sin,” he’s been exactly right. Every time. Every time his teachings directed you to make the better and tougher choice, he’s been right. Every time. When he promises to take care of you, he’s always right. He’s never been wrong. Sometimes it takes a while, sometimes years, to see it and understand it. But his track record is spotless. It’s perfect. Because his motivation — pure love — is perfect.
Jesus says, “Trust me.”
The Dallas Cowboys are done before New Year’s Eve. Again. They finish the season at 8-8. Again. They lose in a win-and-get-in finale. Again. Tony Romo throws a critical late-game interception. Again. It’s the same old story for these same old Cowboys who are 128-128 since 1997.
For the third time in the past five years, the Cowboys lost the last game of the regular season when a victory would have put them in the playoffs. For the sixth time in seven tries, Tony Romo lost a do-or-die elimination football game, throwing as many picks last night as he had in the past two months. The Cowboys still have but one lousy playoff win in the past 16 years. And counting…
I feel for Jason Garrett. As a head coach, the guy’s never taken any team to the playoffs, on any stage, at any level. So I’m not sure how qualified he is to be coaching the Cowboys. His repeated mismanagement of game situations late in the 2nd and 4th quarters is troubling. But I feel for him. I don’t think he’s being given a completely fair opportunity here. He’s saddled by his GM with a defensive coordinator who couldn’t possibly be more different than him in personality and style. (Not to mention, Rob Ryan also has never taken a defense to the playoffs on any stage, at any level.) Jerry Wayne’s personnel moves on the offensive line have doomed Garrett’s offense for the past three seasons. And his loyalty to Romo has crippled this team’s present and jeopardized it’s future.
Injuries this year are a legitimate factor for the Cowboys. But not any more so than they are for all the other teams in the NFL in December. DeMarcus Ware hobbling around last night without his right arm would have been inspirational had he actually made any plays. He didn’t need to be out there. The news this morning that he’ll have surgery this week on his shoulder and elbow tells us how badly he is hurt. Not having five or six defensive starters they had in early October wasn’t helpful, no. Losing receivers Austin and Bryant and Harris late last night wasn’t ideal.
But then, their absences had nothing to do with that late Romo interception.
The Cowboys were in a position to sneak into the playoffs. Again. Momentum was with the Cowboys late in the fourth quarter. Again. And Romo threw the pick. Again.
Pretty soon, Garrett’s going to lose this team. They stay at .500 season after season. They remain near the top of the list of most penalized teams in the league. They keep missing the playoffs. I don’t know how much longer these guys are going to buy what Garrett’s selling. But, again, I’m not convinced it’s his fault.
The one constant here is Jerry Wayne. The owner and GM seemed angry after the game last night. He refused to talk about coaches or player personnel. He said only that they needed to make some changes in the way they’re doing things. The last time Jerry Wayne took a close look in the mirror and saw incompetence, he hired Bill Parcells. That’s not going to happen this offseason. Maybe one more year of .500 ball and mistakes and missed opportunities and watching other teams play in the postseason. Maybe one more year.