From the Rev: ID'ing the Future
I had the privilege of attending portions of the recent ID camp held for Colorado high school student athletes at Valor Christian High School this past week. The camp was put on to give students and college coaches an opportunity to be observed in hopes of receiving scholarships or invitations for possible openings on college teams. Of the 100-some students and 25- some college coaches participating in the event, there was an air of anticipation and hope – perhaps this might be an opportunity to receive an offer from a college to study and play the sport that they had come to love.
As I reflected further, I was reminded of the life of Jesus and his own ID’ing that took place as he set out to begin ministry. We read in Luke 6:12 that Jesus spent some intentional time praying to God before he chose the twelve men that would walk closest with him while he was here on earth (maybe you are thinking about the 11 true apostles – but I am not trying to make soccer team parallels here, honest). From history, scholars surmise that these apostles and disciples that Jesus called were probably young men – maybe even teenagers, who having not made the grade for further religious instruction were settling into life as tradesmen (fishermen, tax collectors and more).
If we understand Dr. Luke’s gospel recording to have a sense of chronology – then Jesus had interacted and seen some of these men in action before calling them to form his close-knit team. And, perhaps, after seeing many different candidates in action (scripture records as many as 70-120 were closely following Jesus as different points in his ministry) Jesus spent some intentional time in prayer and discernment before naming those closest to him.
In reflecting upon this, I wondered – how many of the coaches or players or their parents participating in the ID camp had spent time praying to God, seeking His face about the decisions about college, playing collegiate soccer, whom to offer scholarship or financial aid, where to study, where to play? Even as a casual observer with little vested into the process, I could see some of the anticipation and hopes in parents and students eyes. College (paying for it, deciding where to go, etc.) can be a tumultuous time – do we go to God with the things that worry and concern us and ask for His wisdom and discernment?
Of course, as team chaplain, I see similar moments when professional athletes and coaches and staff face decisions that are seemingly monumental – choices about career, family, retirement, contractual negotiations, and other life issues can be difficult to discern and choose the correct path. These are moments – moments when we are looking toward the future – that we ought to seek God. We need to find mountain top moments and spend nights praying to God about what we ought to do. And in those spaces, we need to listen and hear the voice of God so that we might make wise choices, wise decisions because we cannot accurately ID the future on our own.
Rev. Brad Kenney