Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house….(Prov 24:27)
Last night I had the opportunity to officiate a high level, high stakes, very intense game. Both teams were one and two in the conference. The gym was packed with people and so very loud. It was exciting. The tension was so thick at times in the gym you felt like you could cut it with a knife.
It was a tight game the whole way through. Part way through the end of the 4th quarter with only a 3 point difference between the two teams, during a timeout one of my partners said to me, “This is why we do it.” I smiled, nodded my head and said, “Absolutely.”
Over the years, I have been preparing myself as an official for games like this. I have been applying what veterans have taught me. I’ve asked lots and lots of questions and I haven’t been afraid of critical feedback. In fact, I have welcomed it on many, many occasions. All of that time I’ve spent in preparation prepared me to handle the intensity of a moment like this so I could stay calm and relaxed and be able to call the game despite all the noise and chaos around me.
The truth is, as a growing official, I’ve made many, many mistakes, and I still do. I’ve officiated extremely boring games (more than I can count). I’ve officiated absolute blow outs and games that just weren’t very high level. But all of that was part of the preparation.
Friend, I get it. What you’re experiencing right now is just not fun. It feels boring, monotonous and without much purpose. But could it be that God is preparing you? That seems to be the theme in my life as I go through one more season of preparation after another in my spiritual walk. Truthfully, there have been moments when I wondered what God was doing and how on earth this could ever be accomplishing something good, but friend, believe it. There’s something about your character He’s growing in this season to prepare you for the next.
It’s much easier to look forward with anticipation to the next big game on my schedule. It’s not always like that with God, because sometimes our opportunities just show up and what God was preparing in us in those mundane, seemingly purposeless moments is what He’s going to use to help us shine for Him in these new moments of divine purpose. After all, every moment is sacred and one thing I tell myself, even in those games that don’t seem to matter much is that I must give my very best because that’s what honors God and so friend, go ahead, give your best in this season of preparation. Even though it doesn’t feel important God is using it to accomplish bigger things that you can’t see.
Lord, I love you. Thank you for growing, shaping and changing me. Forgive me when i forget that growing seasons are very purposeful. Help me to stay faithful in them, in Jesus name, Amen.