I was so excited at the beginning of the season--every time I turned on SportsCenter, my Dallas Cowboys were getting tons of air-time discussing how they were the most talented team in football. and favorites for the Super Bowl. I've been a Cowboys fan as long as I can remember--my Mom even tells a story about us driving past a Holiday Inn (back when they had a big white star on their sign) and I shouted from the back seat in my best baby talk "Dadda Cabboy". From the days of Staubach, Dorsett, and Coach Landry, up through the Danny White era, I watched it all. It was a tough pill to swallow when Jerry Jones bought the franchise, but when the triplets (Aikman, Emmitt, and Irvin) and their supporting cast started making a run for the championship I quickly came around. But the events of the last week have been disturbing. Our all-pro quarterback has a broken pinky along with our punter who has a broken foot. Our #2 running back is out with a torn hamstring and many of the players are just "banged up". But the one inactive player that tops the list is not due to an injury. Yes, the gamble that team management took in acquiring Adam "Pac-Man" Jones under the condition that he would behave himself did not pay off in a positive way. He had some drama at a hotel in Dallas two weeks ago and is now in an indefinite suspension for a minimum of 4 weeks. I felt Pac-Man should have been suspended by the team regardless of what the NFL decided to do, but it seemed that to the management that winning was more important than discipline. In other words, it was like the Cowboys were saying, "We don't care how you act off the field as long as you put up big numbers ON the field." Add to all this the constant ego issues with Terrell Owens who never seems happy with the amount of passes thrown his way. As I thought about the team's situation, some thoughts came to mind as well as some scriptures.
If we are in Christ, we are new creations, right? Paul says in Romans that we are to be "more than conquerers." But I think many times we are a lot like the Dallas Cowboys--a team that has a ton of talent, but whose egos and injuries get in the way. They can't seem to be successful right now because of all the drama they experience off the field. Paul says this is the human condition in Romans 7, beginning in verse 7. He says "what I want to do is what I do not do and what I do not want to do are the very things I do." Our lives are bogged down by sin. Even though we are new in Christ, we still deal with our sinful nature. How would our lives and ministries look if we put all the personal drama aside and lived as new creations...as conquerors? For seasons it seems we do that, but a lot of times we spend our time and energy chasing futile goals--either in ministry or in our personal lives. We are trying to get to another rung on the "ladder" or trying to make enough money to afford the payment on another car. If we would learn to run the race God calls us to run, we will live like champions, not like banged up "coulda beens".