The Dancing Puritan

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ending, Celebrating and Beginning

Today my third daughter Sarah will play her last high school basketball game. Today is the culmination of nine years (since fourth grade) of organized basketball for her. It is an ending, celebration and beginning. She may or may not play in college. That has yet to be determined.  Today--that does not matter.

Today we celebrate the kindness of God in giving to us the gift of basketball.

This morning, I sent this note to Sarah.

Dance with abandon today in the arena of God's glory. 32 minutes. Two teams. Coaches. Fans. Hardwood. Scoreboard. This is a gift to be enjoyed, to be celebrated. Today is your day. It is your team's day. It is all about His glory. Don't hold back--feel the wind of His pleasure as you play to His glory. Celebrate! Play basketball to His glory! I love you and look forward to the game. No matter what--we celebrate God's kindness today.

That note reflects our theology. It reflects my morning meditation from Ecclesiastes.

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved of what you do.  Let you garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.  Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going (Ecclesiastes 8:9).

Today we recognize the possibilities of this present life.

We live, under accountability to God, to his glory. Life is to be lived with abandonment to God. We are not free to violate his laws but we are free to not hold back, to feel the wind of his pleasure as we do whatever we do for His glory.

With a merry heart we work and play basketball.  We live with a sense that in Christ we and our works are approved by God. By God's pleasure, through Christ, for God's glory, we are to enjoy life!

This is his gift.

Today we recognize the limits of this present life.

The things of this present life are not ultimate. Eating, drinking, human love and basketball in their present state are all passing away. We have this life, however long that may be, to receive God's gifts and enjoy them for His glory. That should motivate us in the what and the how of what we do.

Sarah joins her sisters Rachel and Hannah in the last high school game experience. Rachel and Hannah's high school sports career have ended.  But through the endings God gave new beginnings. New opportunities. New ways to glorify him. The same will be true for Sarah and her team today.

Today is not so much an ending but a celebration of God's faithfulness and kindness.  It is also a beginning and a challenge to enjoy life to the glory of God.