There is a saying in sports that goes like this, “No One Is Bigger Than The Game.”
What this means is that no one person is bigger, more important, or more crucial to the game than the game itself. After all without the game there is no “you.” In essence it is a reminder that “You are NOT as important as you think you are.”
Although every person in athletics knows this, there are always people that feel they are the exception to the rule. Most recently former Head Football Coach for the University of Arkansas, Bobby Patrino, demonstrated this fact.
Patrino is accused of cheating on his wife and 4 children with a former Arkansas volleyball player, hiring her to his football staff, and giving her $20,000 from the program. This corruption was only discovered after he was in a motorcycle accident with the woman on the back. At the time of the accident, Patrino lied to the University about the accident details and his involvement with the woman. It was only when the police report came out and he was pressed about it did he admit the relationship and facts about the accident. The road rash on Patrino’s face was only the beginning of the road rash his life now would endure.
Interestingly though, at the press conference announcing the firing of Patrino, Athletic Director Jeff Long was asked if he thought, “Patrino thought he was bigger than the game?” to which the AD responded, “Yes”.
Patrino is not alone on this list. Several other men and woman such as Tiger Woods, Diana Turassi, Warren Sapp, Marion Jones, Allen Iverson, OJ Simpson, and many others have fallen from the ranks of the elite as a result moral, financial, or legal failures because of their bigger than life perceptions of themselves.
However, we don’t have to be superstar athletes with Adonis complexes to think we are bigger than life. If we are honest, we even think we are bigger than God at times.
Our sin is the demonstration that we think we are bigger than God.
We feel that His ways are out dated, behind the times, and sucking the fun out of our lives so we go our own way. Sure, we may go to church and wear a cross around our neck, but when it comes down to it that’s as far as it goes as far as God impacting our Monday – Saturday lives.
Speaking through the prophet Isaiah thousands of years ago God said these words,
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.”
Now, it may be an old book, but the Bible is incredible timeless. The words of Isaiah are as true today as they were back then because the human nature is the same.
We all want to do it our way not God’s way.
What we find as we go through life with this “Bigger than the game mentality” is that we may feel like we are accomplishing a great deal, but the trail we are blazing was never intended by God for us to go on. It’s a trail filled with great pain, heartache, and leaves us bleeding on the side of the road with a face full of road rash and handful of what could have been.
Believe me. God is not confused about who’s in charge. The creator of the Universe does not look at what you and I do outside of His will and say, “Wow, I never thought of that. I should adopt that into my overall plan.” His plan is perfect and our job is to fall into the plan if we want to be in His will. If we want to see the blessings he has for us in our life. If we want to be actually followers of Christ in our entire life and not just our Sunday mornings.
We would serve ourselves best if we adopted Micah 6:8 as the verse to refocuses us on a daily basis. It says:
“He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly
with your God.”
If we passionately pursue this on a daily basis, we will find ourselves more in step with God than we ever though possible and never thinking our ways are bigger than Him.
The difference is that although the world will tell you that you are “Not as important as you think you are”, God is telling you over and over and over in his Word that “You are WAY more important that you think you are. That’s why I sent my Son to die for you and why I want you to follow the plan I have for you.”