Sunday, October 3, 2010

He's Unconscious!

This is something that has been on my mind for quite some time now (years even), and have yet to make any real sense of it, so if you have any advice or insight, please do not hesitate to leave feedback here, on facebook, via email, or whatever. I would love a little bit of conversation on the topic.

I watched another Michigan football game yesterday, and am still basking in the afterglow a bit. Sure, our defense is just plain not very good, but that Denard Robinson kid, well, he does his best to avoid putting out performances that can be confined by words. Too much fun. I have been looking for an illustration for my current topic for a while, and Denard's play seems fitting, though any other athlete playing at a high level is as well. (This will all hopefully make sense in a moment.)

Ever since Sunday school I have been told by adults, pastors, Bible study leaders, and so on that as Christians, we should live in such a way that we honor Christ. We should consider the question "What Would Jesus Do?" in all situations. Sounds simple. Think again.

It becomes so easy in our daily lives to forget to consider whether our decisions and actions are God-honoring that we can go hours or even days at a time without giving it a second thought. God could not possibly care less what I eat for breakfast, God is not interested in whether I spend another half hour watching TV, and God does not notice when I litter. That is the mindset I have on most days. Clearly it needs fixing, but how?

Great athletes hold at least part of the answer to this question. One phrase that is often used to describe the play of an athlete on a particularly outstanding day is, "Wow. He's just unconscious out there right now!" I have said this about Denard Robinson in the past few weeks on numerous occasions. He apparently lacks the need to take the time to think about his next action. Take the snap. Look left. Look right. Checkdown. No one open. Run left. Follow blocker. Defender coming, juke right, avoid safety. Run. Run. Run. Does he think through each of these steps and mentally check them off? Nope, that would be impossible. There is just not enough time for that type of thought process. It must be instinctual; each of his reads must be internalized so that he can avoid thinking and focus on playing.

It is the same way with our day to day Christian lives. There will be times that we need to press pause to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider what our next action should be, but for the most part we need to have internalized God's word and will to the point that our natural, instinctive, reflexive actions align with them.

The question then I suppose is, how can we get to that point? I have yet to find the full answer to that question, but I am sure it includes frequent study of the Bible and constant contact with God through prayer. Both of those are things I struggle with on a regular basis, but am trying to work on.

Thoughts, suggestions? I would love to get some feedback on this one.


  1. Paul-
    You are giving me such great distractions tonight. This is definitely a tough one. (I doubt I'll even get around to answering it.)

    I think it has to come down to the point where you don't even have to ask the question "Am i at that point yet?" I'll use your little sports chit chat to explain. Do these "hot shots" have to ask themselves "Am I that good? Am I to the point where I even have to REALLY think about my next move?" Like you said, I don't think that they do. It's just something that has become who they are. It's second nature. And they don't even have to acknowledge that it is. It just has to be observed by others. And the same goes for us I think. We have to come to a point where we don't even have to ask the question. Hmm. But how do we get there?

    (This may be following the topic or not...) I think that we have to be okay with being still. We have to be okay with not constantly looking for the next move. We have to be okay with trusting that the "move" will come to us. Don't get me wrong I think we should always be yearning for His kingdom (reading our Bibles, praying, etc.). But I think by being human and being sinners we are called to acknowledge just that--That we are sinful and nothing we do can ever bring us closer to God. Maybe what I'm trying to say is that we just have to humble ourselves. I think Christians get caught into this feeling that they always have to be doing something to "get closer to God" when really we just have to believe. Yes, bringing His kingdom to earth through our actions is a good thing and we should do it, just like we should continue to yearn for a relationship with Him, but we also need to acknowledge that our actions aren't bringing us any closer to Him. He's already here.

    Shoot. I have no idea if this is even an answer to your question. Maybe I just felt like typing.

  2. All good points. I always have trouble with not trying because I think too much and I always feel like I'm regressing because I'm thinking about it. Feels like a catch-22 for me, even though it really isn't.