Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Game Changer

As a young boy, I thought Jerry West was probably the best basketball player ever. He could shoot well, played great defense, was a good ball handler, made great passes, etc. Other players that came along that I thought also really played the game the way James Naismith intended included Walt Frazier, John Havlicek, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson.
Perhaps because I find myself rather ‘height challenged’, I have never been particularly impressed with those players who were supposedly ‘great’ based solely on the fact that they were so much taller/bigger than everyone else (i.e., Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal). I have always liked ‘complete’ players that played all aspects of the game well.
Then along came a guy who changed the way basketball had always been played - Michael Jordan. Many teams never ‘sold out’ their games unless/until Michael Jordan came to play against the home team. He didn’t just take basketball to a different level, he took it in a different direction.
Nothing against players like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, but the way they play was made possible by what Michael Jordan did. He changed the game.
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While many of us may assume that someone’s moldy bread was the impetus for the ‘accidental’ discovery of penicillin, it was actually discovered by a bacteriologist who was actively seeking a chemical that could kill bacteria in humans without harming their bodies. The manner in which Alexander Fleming determined (in 1928) that it was the Penicillium mold which would effectively kill bacteria was somewhat ‘accidental’, but not completely fortuitous. Nevertheless, his discovery eventually led to the development of the ‘wonder drug’ that definitely ‘changed the game’.
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There was a time when only rich people could afford books because each one was painstakingly copied by hand. Then along came movable type and the Gutenberg Press. Soon hundreds, then thousands, then millions of books could be printed. Education, communication, information, sharing ideas – such things were no longer restricted to only the financial, cultural, or powerful elite. A whole new world was opened up and an ‘information explosion’ took place. Perhaps no other invention has so changed the game.
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Although we should do so all year, Easter ought to prompt us to focus intently on what was truly the ultimate ‘game changer’ – the cross.
While the cross was just a simple wooden structure, it changed more than all of the other events, actions, and inventions of all time combined together.
Because of the cross, all of the rules of the game changed. There was no longer a need for ‘keeping score’. We were freed to play the game the way each of us were uniquely designed to play. We were no longer bound by our physical limitations or talents, but we were empowered and gifted.
Because of the cross, not only could people be perfectly healed of physical, emotional, or psychological ailments, but ‘death’ itself was eradicated. The cross provided the cure for the virus of sin and the sickness of self.
Because of the cross, direct and personal communication with the Creator of the Universe was made possible. The cross tore down the barriers and restrictions that prevented poor, depraved, inherently wicked people from relating one-on-one with a wholly holy God.
The cross was simple, yet capable of infinite possibilities.
The cross was rough, yet it smoothed the way.
The cross was painful, yet it took away our hurts.
The cross was heavy, yet it removed the weight we carried.
The cross bore a curse, yet it blessed and made pure.
The cross stood only a few feet tall, yet it reached to heaven.
The cross signified an end, yet it is a new beginning.
The cross was foolishness, yet it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 17:18).
The cross was defeat, yet it is victory.
The cross was humiliating, yet it brought glory.
For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault
. (Colossians 1:19-22, NLT)
Now that’s what I call a game changer!

1 comment:

  1. Craig;
    You are truly blessed and gifted.
    Glory be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord an Savior - the ultimate, eternal "Game Changer"!