Here's some thoughts on a recent event for all you sports fans. But even if you hate sports, I think you'll get the idea. ;-)
Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Raiders, of the NFL, decided to fire their head coach Lane Kiffin. Lane was the youngest head coach in the league, and had been hired only last year. He took over a team that everyone knew was terrible. But somehow, just a year and three months later he was to have transformed this team into something marvelous. At least that would be the perspective of owner Al Davis, who fired Kiffin just four games into this season.
What I find remarkable is the attitude behind this firing, already the second this year, which is now prevalent in our society. We live in a world that continually asks, "what have you done for me lately?" If the immediate results we are getting don't match our hopes or expectations, as lofty as they may be, we fire the guy and move on. Kiffin was fired with 75% of the season still to play. I wonder how many professional sport franchises have started poorly, only to have a late season resurgence and make the playoffs. Probably many. Unfortunately, Kiffin will never have that chance as he fell victim to our "I want it now" mind-set.
I wonder if we haven't unintentionally shifted some of this attitude to matters of faith. God exists eternally and unchanging in his purposes for us. And yet we can easily look to him and ask, "What have you done for me lately?" If we've recently been fired or laid off, watched a marriage go down in flames, or suffered some sort of tragic illness, we likely believe that God has let us down. "Well, He sure didn't help me there," we think, and we fire him. We fire God from his position as leader in our life and go in search of someone else who can get the job done.
I wonder how different the Bible would have been had the men and women of faith in it's pages shared this attitude. Joseph was sold as a slave and spent many years in prison before God's purposes were revealed in his life. A tyrant king tried to kill David no less than 7 times before God raised him to the throne. The apostle Paul was stoned and left for dead early in his ministry pursuits. And in each case, rather than dropping God from the team, these people recognized that God was still at work and bigger plans were being put in place. In the end, these people, and many like them, shaped the world with a steady faith in the goodness of God.
What has God done for you lately? Maybe a lot, and that's awesome. But maybe you feel like he hasn't done much at all. Defy culture. Stick with him and believe that his promises are worth waiting for. He is good, and we will see that in the end.
As for Lane Kiffin, I can only hope he has faith in someone higher than an NFL owner.
May you know today that the God of the universe journeys each step with you. Keep him around.