Somebody is writing your playbook.
Everyone follows, imitates, and ultimately bows their knee to someone. No one is the master of their own fate; no one is the captain of their own soul. This is mythology.
And unless we choose the right coach with the right playbook, we will drift unsuspectingly through life…without the benefit of an eternal compass, or of a divine guide to take our hand in the storms of life.
We just might wake up one day with poet Ed Sissman’s haunting words ringing in our ears,
“Men past forty,
Get up nights,
Look up at city lights
Where they made the wrong turn
And why life is so long.”
Bob Dylan understood we all follow someone. His powerful song, “You Gotta Serve Somebody,” which he sang at an Oscar award ceremony, undoubtedly made some in the celebrity audience quite uncomfortable.
“You may be an ambassador to England or France
You might like to gamble, you might like to dance
You might be the heavyweight champion of the world
You might be a socialite with a long string of pearls
But you’re going to have to serve somebody, yes
Indeed, you’re going to have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord
But you’re going to have to serve somebody.
Serving somebody means submission, a dirty word for many in our contemporary world.
But the truth is submission and imitation are in our spiritual genes. Dallas Willard asks the probing question in his thoughtful work, The Divine Conspiracy,
“Who teaches you? Whose disciple are you? Honestly. One thing is sure.
You are somebody’s disciple. You learned how to live from somebody else.”
How can we discern which playbook we should follow? Which coach to obey? Which teacher to learn from? The self-help and spirituality shelves at our local bookstore are replete with intriguing playbooks for life.
But God’s Word is crystal clear. For the Christ-follower, there is no equivocating, no uncertainty. The Apostle Paul reminds us that:
“For if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” (1 Corinthians 8:6)
The early Christians understood what was at stake. They remembered the words of Jesus, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)
There was a reason these first believers were called, “followers of the Way,” for their eternal Coach said, “I am the Way.” (John 14:6)
When most of Jesus’ disciples left him, he asked the remaining few, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know you are the holy one of God.” (John 7:67-69)
One God, one Lord, one Saviour, one divine Coach, one eternal playbook for life.
Here is a simple rule to help us determine if we are following his playbook. Ask yourself,
“Who am I really trying to please?”
When I played basketball, it was my role as guard to set up plays: the give and go, the post-up, the screenshot. I lived by the coach’s playbook. And often when I ran down the sidelines, I would sneak a glance over at the bench to see if Coach was pleased with my playmaking.
We were made to live to please God. Paul instructs us, “Find out what pleases the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:10) He alone deserves our full-on allegiance, our unswerving obedience, our joyful submission, our exuberant worship.
And in return, because of his great love, he offers us an incredible, abundant, fulfilling life – now and forever – as we tune in and live by his playbook. (John 10:10)
In this life, there is no shortage of coaches. Pick one…maybe a business coach, or a personal coach, a financial coach, a marriage coach, a fitness coach. But in the final analysis there really is only one Coach and one Playbook for Corpath members.
May our divine Coach grant us grace to live by his playbook this summer, and always.