The Joy of Discovery
I must confess that I watched very little of the FSU game last night. My kids didn’t have school today so there were a variety of things happening, including Chitty, Chitty, Bang-Bang being on the TV. I’m not sure exactly how that movie came to be chosen but after 18 songs and only about an hour and a half of the movie being played it was finally turned off.
Then, for just a few moments, I was introduced to Famous Jameis. As the first half was drawing to a close the announcers were reveling in this quarterback who had only thrown one incompletion. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I am a long time FSU fan. In the last few years my knowledge as a fan has dwindled to the point that I was hardly aware of this young man.
I now know, as do most college football fans, who exactly Famous Jameis, is. Only time will tell if he will live up to his presumptuous nickname, which is almost as pretentious as Johnny Football. However, no matter what the year may hold for Jameis Winston most all that he does will come back to the one magical Labor Day night. Just as for Johnny Manziel, most look solely to that late afternoon against the Purple Heffalumps from Alabama.
Those nights, those days, and yes, even those moments, are the joy of college football. That moment when a player’s performance elevates him above his peers: when the performance of an individual manages to grab the attention and devotion of the world. These moments that cause us to jump off our couches, like I did Saturday night when Quayvon Hicks from Pierce County, playing now for the Georgia Bulldogs, broke free on the 3yd line and sprinted down the middle of the field for a gain of 30+ yards.
It is why fans remain fans, and why we are never in danger of running out of fans. As long as there are young men Charlie Ward, Tim Tebow, Bo Jackson, Herschel Walker, and even Johnny Manziel, we will never have a shortage of fans. It is great. It is wonderful, and it is enjoyable.
If you’ll bear with me for just a moment I want to shift gears and draw a brief illustration and point us to the Joy of Scripture.
I am 35 years old and have been reading the Bible – albeit, with varying degrees of regularity – since I was old enough to read. Certainly, during my formative years much of that reading was by compulsion. Whether the compulsion was due to an explicit requirement or just from the fact that sitting in a church service with an open Bible on my lap would many times lead me to reading.
Each day, each chapter, and verse by verse our eyes are opened to the discovery of God’s love for us; God’s provision for us coupled with His great love for His Creation. Sure, there are parts that may be difficult to understand, and most of us aren’t sure and/or capable of pronouncing Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek names, but in each name is the discovery of a person, an individual, that played a role; understood or not, in God’s love and provision of Salvation for man.
In Genesis we read of Cain, a man bound and determined to present to God what he thought was best, and found himself lacking in the presence of God. Choosing rebellion over repentance, he helped define for us all what our attempts look like in the face of God’s Holiness.
In Exodus there is Moses, royally raised; yet insecure, and still he receives the grace and mercy of God to perform a task that is unimaginable to us today. We see of Miriam who as a young girl placed herself in harms way for her brother, and yet after his rise to prominence, found herself jealous of his relationship with the One True God.
In Joshua we see the grace of God that planted a wandering group of people into a nation that had borders, security, and stability.
In Ruth we are able to read just a few verses to become overwhelmed by the grace of God. A God who would take an outsider; Ruth, and place her in the lineage of the coming Savior, Jesus Christ. A God who sent a man to Ruth who had an understanding of God’s mercy and grace – read who his mother was – seemingly preparing him for just such a moment.
I could go on and on, for even the Apostle John says that if he were to write all that Jesus did that the books of the earth wouldn’t contain the accounts of His works.
Here’s my encouragement and challenge; I know that many like to read a verse or two a day and dwell on the richness of God’s goodness found in just those verses. That is certainly beneficial, but there is so much more. Just as I can’t grasp in the few highlights I see today the magnitude of Jameis Winston’s performance neither can you grasp the overall beauty, grace, and majesty that is found in the breadth of Scripture in just reading a few verses.
Pick a book, pick a group of books, and dive into the Joy of Discovery.