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What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Cincinnati sports fans have grown restless. With the most recent playoff loss by the Bengals (and a failure to even make the playoffs by the Reds) many fans have declared the end of their allegiance to Cincinnati sports. "I just can't handle the emotional roller coaster...I've been let down too many times...I'm just not ready to root for them again," have all been statements I've heard the past couple weeks.

And yet.....

The Cincinnati Reds have made it to the first round of playoffs 3 of the last 6 years. The Cincinnati Bengals have been a playoff team for the past 5 years in a row.

What more do you want Cincinnati!?

You have competitive teams who are among the best in America (yes, by default, if you can make it to the playoffs at all, you are one of the best teams). And yet you gripe and complain that we can't win playoff games!?

I would much rather make it to the playoffs and lose than not make it at all--that way we at least have hope for a championship rather than wallowing in last place (see Reds 2015 season).

Many sports fans operate under the motto: "what have you done for me lately?" We really don't care what your past endeavors were--what are you doing today that is helping our team win games? After all, records were made to be broken, so it doesn't matter how good you were 3 years ago, what matters is how good you are now!

It's like we're training attention deficit sports fans.

I would submit that this mentality is not limited to sports fans alone however. As a church, Parkside has been going through The Story: an abridged Bible that highlights how God has used history to lead His church from The beginning to The present age. All throughout the Old Testament we see God's people (Israel) being rescued from their enemies, being given the Promised Land, being shown God's might and glory....and yet within the next generation they harden their hearts towards God and start worshiping other gods. It makes you want to slap them around and say "Helloooooo! Look at what God just did for you! Are you going to forget that already!?"

Which is awfully easy to say from this side of history. But given the chance to be in their shoes, I don't wonder if I would be in the same place.

I will have encounters with God where I see His hand at work in my life--orperhaps I'll see Him do something miraculous in a friend's life--and in that moment, I am totally taken aback by God's power and God's splendor. But give me two weeks' time and I'm back to a place of doubting again. I can be so enraptured in God's might and then so let down when I don't feel His hand of guidance on my every move. In many ways, I am the same the same as the Israelites. I am constantly asking God, "What have you done for me lately?" sometimes completely oblivious to the thing He just did for me a month ago.

My prayer today is that you would have a good memory. Remember the ways that God has orchestrated your life to bring you where you are today. Remember the things He has done for you. Write them down. Revisit them often. Celebrate that God is working in your life right now, even if you don't see it.

Let's not just be bandwagon fans of Christ--let's champion all of Christendom into its best season yet!


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