Given Much

“From everyone who has been given much, much more will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” ~Luke 12:48

When I see Shaquille O’Neal shoot 35% from the free throw line; when I see Ricky Williams throw away a Hall of Fame career with drug use; when I hear about a record-setting high school quarterback get suspended because he’s flunked Social Studies; I want to scream. All that talent. All those gifts. All that natural ability. All that potential. All those blessings. How in the world can you just throw that away? How can you not see how you’ve been blessed and how you can use those blessings to make yourself and your team better? How does Shaq live with himself, knowing that in a tight playoff game his coach has to sit him on the bench because he might get fouled? How can Williams ever show his face again in the state of Louisiana after what he did to the Saints? How does the high school quarterback walk the halls of his campus knowing how he’s let down his whole community?

We expect much more out of the people who’ve been so richly blessed.

Boy, if I had only been given those same gifts. If only I had those same talents, those same abilities. I’d do everything in my power to use them to their maximum potential. I’d keep my nose clean. I’d work hard. I’d dedicate myself to getting even better. Nothing could ever hold me back or get me down if I had those blessings.

We hate seeing gifts gone to waste. But we drastically change our view when the tables are turned and we become the objects of scrutiny.

Are you blessed? Of course you’re going to say “Yes.” Your wealth is not just measured by your money and your possessions, of which we have more than anyone in history, but also by your options. If you have lots of options, you’re very blessed. For most people in the world, especially if you consider the whole of human history, the main choice of life is, “Will I pick the grain today with my left hand or my right hand?”

In contrast, consider the kinds of questions we ask ourselves today. It’s not, “Will I get to go to college?” It’s “Which college will I go to?” It’s not, “Can I find a job?” It’s “Which job pleases me the most?” We never ask, “Am I going to eat dinner?” It’s always, “What’s for dinner?”

We are wealthy. We are blessed.

And just like us, our God never wants to see all these blessings go to waste. Jesus never wants to see his gifts thrown away.

He expects more.

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Cowboys & Eagles. Monday Night Football. The only thing that could make it any better is if it were being played in Philly (better atmosphere) and if Frank and Howard and Dandy Don were calling the game on ABC.

The Eagles have certainly broken the hearts of the Cowboys many, many times in the past. I vividly remember watching the 1980 NFC Championship Game in Paul Barron’s living room. Tom Landry’s weird Russian fur hat with the earflaps and the collar on his coat up around his neck. Wilbert Montgomery going for 42 yards and a TD on the game’s second play. I remember Paul throwing his not-quite-empty Coke can across his living room after a Danny White sack midway through the third quarter of that 20-7 loss.

80sEaglesLogoLots of Cowboys misery at the hands of the Eagles. The pickle juice game. The Bounty Bowl. Jaws. Harold Carmichael. McNabb’s 14-second scramble. Andy Reid is 13-5 against the Cowboys. Philly’s beat Dallas in three of the past four meetings. Nobody has a better road record in the NFL over the past seven seasons than the Eagles. McNabb is totally healthy. Westbrook’s one of the four best backs in the league. The Eagles’ defense is menacing. Their blitz is unnerving. Their secondary is excellent. They held Dallas to just six points at Texas Stadium last December.

WadePhillipsEagles 27, Cowboys 20.

Peace,

Allan

4 Comments

  1. Rob's Dad

    Ricky Williams – agree
    Shaq – he did hire coaches and sports phsychologists (sic) to work with him. It didn’t work. Perhaps he could have done more with other areas of his game yet I can’t put him in with Ricky
    HS QB – let’s put a little more on his shoulders. I love football yet “…let down his whole community” shows the degree to which we are out of whack with priorities. The whole community? Tap that brake.

    “Menacing” “unnerving” “excellent” – is there any reason to even watch the game? Guess you took the over?

  2. Rob Barber

    Allan said,
    “Boy, if I had only been given those same gifts. If only I had those same talents, those same abilities. I’d do everything in my power to use them to their maximum potential. I’d keep my nose clean. I’d work hard. I’d dedicate myself to getting even better. Nothing could ever hold me back or get me down if I had those blessings.”

    I believe you.

    The reason I believe you is because I see what you have done with the gifts God has given you.
    You have kept your nose clean, you’ve worked hard.
    You have gotten better.
    You have become a man that on any given Sunday can command the attention and respect of 1000 people who hear you speak and allow your words instruct them in the ways of the Lord.

    And have no doubt that there are those who look to you and think, “Boy, if I had only been given those same gifts. If only I had those same talents, those same abilities.”

  3. Allan

    Rob, give all the glory to God who’s so incredibly amazing he can do wonderful things through weak, insignificant people. And thank you for your kind words.

    Rob’s Dad (no relation), the community the high school QB lets down is the small 2A or 3A town in rural Texas that lives and dies with its Friday night meetings at the stadium. Checking my mirrors…

  4. Rob's Dad

    Dude – i know that small communities put that on a HS kid. I don’t expect to change that approach as it’s the dark side to the passion. What suprised me was seeing you add to it.

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