Deji is a boy with a football. He delights in the art of playing football. This is natural, and in our present natural, we find bits, glimpses of the divine, the supernatural; glimpses of heaven and hell.
Football is a game, and when taken seriously, it is a match. I choose to also see it as a race. A race against time – to win, draw or lose by a desired margin – a race against the moving ball – to have and keep it in the possession of your team for as long as you need, and a race against your opponent – to get your desired result against.
There is a football field, a watching audience, and football players, often fit and appropriately kitted.
Deji feels ready to play. He feels confident. He has a smile.
But quite frankly, Deji isn’t ready for the game. He looks like a boy who’d weary of the game from the start. He is wrongly kitted. And if he could only hear the voice of the officials or perceive their gestures, he would be off the field of play.
Despite seeming unprepared, unmotivated and complacent, Deji must play. A heavy price was paid to secure him. He has to play.
Deji is a picture of a great part of the church today.
I do not speak of the institution church, the group of people called Christians. I mean, Deji is a reflection of a great part of the church, the body of Christ, the company of people rescued and redeemed by Jesus, the Lord of all creation.
We were bought at great price and have been brought home and consequently to the field of play, but we have come to the field of play in our party dresses and shoes, rather than in our football jerseys and boots. We are complacent. We either aren’t aware of the race before us or have simply chosen to ignore it.
We are asleep. We fail to see beyond our noses, ahead to the 90 minute match against a formidable but truly beatable opponent and to see what it would take to score, defend, and win. We fail to realize that even football should point us to God.
Spiritually, we are poorly or wrongly clothed. We love the fun part of these things but ignore the fight that come along.
Where are our shirts, our shorts, our shin guards, our socks and studded boots?
Where are our salvation helmets, chest guards of righteousness, Spirit swords, gospel shoes, truth belts, faith shields and engulfing prayers?
Deji cannot afford to be on the pitch this way. The spiritual is more: we cannot afford to be on the pitch this way. We will be badly hurt.
Today, we will take off the party dresses and shoes [for the moment] and take on our jerseys and boots. We will let go off the fun and games; we will awake and fight. We will press towards the mark. We will run for the reward. We will do this now, lest we are dropped from the team, to the bench, to the reserve team or for some reason sold off to some other team. We will win.
I pray we are helped to see what the Spirit is saying to His church.
I speak to you and me.
I pray for you and me.
May we never lose our wonder.
Akinnibi Tobi inspired this.