"Your testimonies are wonderful;therefore my soul observes them.The unfolding of Your words gives light;it gives understanding to the simple.I opened my mouth wide and panted,for I longed for Your commandments.Turn to me and be gracious to me,after Your manner with those who love Your name.Establish my footsteps in Your word,and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.Redeem me from the oppression of man,that I may keep Your precepts.Make Your face shine upon Your servant,and teach me Your statutes.My eyes shed streams of water,because they do not keep Your law." (Psalm 119:129-136)
Monday, August 30, 2010
The Coveted Coal Bowl
Here in rural western North Dakota, as in many small towns, football is kind of a big deal. On Friday night, the high school football season began. It was the perfect night for a football game: slightly chilly with a brisk breeze. But Friday night's football was not just any football game. Friday night was the Coal Bowl. [Insert wild excitement and amazement here.]
Beulah and her neighboring town, Hazen, are not in the same division; yet that's not enough to squash the rivalry and keep them from playing each other. Every year the schools begin their football season by competing in the Coal Bowl. The prize for winning? Besides gloating and bragging rights, the winning school receives a football trophy made of coal. For the past five years, Hazen has dominated the Coal Bowl, never having to surrender the beloved, coveted coal football. So this year, as the Beulah boys won by a single point in overtime, it's a bit of an understatement to say the Beulah crowd went wild. The team, the students, and the parents were ecstatic.
The Coal Bowl victory was finally theirs.
This morning, as I continued on my quest through Psalm 119, I couldn't help but think of the Coal Bowl. For the Beulah and Hazen football players and students, it is a sought after, coveted prize. There are many things that we seek in this world, aren't there? High GPA's. Good paying jobs. Entertainment. Popularity. Sometimes, we strive for these things so hard yet come up empty. And yet, how hard are we seeking after the Lord? How much time do we spend drinking in the Word of God?
When is the last time that you panted after the Word of God or shed streams of tears because of your sin? Do we truly consider the words of the Lord to be wonderful - so wonderful we could do nothing but be obedient to Him? Do we want to be established in the Word of God; firmly planted and growing in His Word?
"Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face continually." (1 Chronicles 16:11)
I pray that we would be a people who strive more after the Lord, than of temporary treasures made coal.