Don’t Fumble the Bag
Luke 16:10a (NRSV) -
““Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much;”
Matthew 25:21b (NRSV) -
“you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things;”
Today’s devotional reflection is not overly complicated at all. It’s quite simple actually. Don’t fumble the bag!
This is an appropriate colloquial choice for several reasons. The Super Bowl was this past Sunday and in the sport of football, an offensive player can fumble the ball. This means that they drop it, which opens up the opportunity for the opposing team (on defense) to pick it up and run with it. This gives insight into the phrase, “Don’t drop the ball,” meaning don’t mess up. Nevertheless, when a player fumbles, they fail in that particular assignment. They have a chance to redeem themselves the next time out, but they might have lost some of the trust of coaches and other players. Now, if they continue to fumble, they may lose that trust altogether.
“The bag” is often used to refer to money. I want to take it a little further than it’s common meaning to other things like opportunity, the “task at hand,” and purpose.
Luke 16:10a and Matthew 25:21b are both the words of Jesus. The former is Jesus’ wisdom after the telling of a parable. The latter is Jesus in mid-parable. On both instances the reality of being entrusted with something is at the core of what The Lord is referring to.
In our lives, God has entrusted us with a calling/purpose, talents, gifts, and opportunities. The opportunities may not always be as exciting or glamorous as we may want them to be. Our talents and gifts don’t always bring fanfare. And our calling and purpose may lead us in a direction we don’t necessarily want to go. In all of these instances, we have a choice to make. We can miss the opportunity, waste our talents and gifts, and ignore the call/purpose or we can take advantage of the opportunities, exercise our talents and gifts, and follow the call wherever it takes us so that our purpose is being fulfilled. Making the correct choice will signal to God that we can be trusted with the things “He” has given us. The correct choice will indicate to God that “She” can trust us with even more than the things we are currently taking care of.
We’ll end with these two examples.
As a parent I can tell you that it is not easy leaving your child with folks. These can even be the very same people that had a hand in raising you! The reason that it is this way is because our children are often number one on our list of what’s important in our lives. If you leave your child with someone and your child is and remains miserable and upset, you will probably never leave them with that person or persons again. If all goes well that your child doesn’t even pay you any mind when you return to get them, you will definitely leave them with that person or persons again.
In addition, I am aware of folks who have prayed for homes and new “this” and new “that.” The irony of their praying and wanting a home and a new “this” and a new “that,” is found in the reality of what their current apartments and their “this” and “that” look like now. They don’t take of anything (nothin’)! If and when they get a home and a new “this” and “that” they will probably not take care of it.
A similar thing is happening with us and God. We must ask ourselves today, “Can I be trusted with the things of God?” “Can I be trusted with what God has provided for me in this season?” If we cannot answer these questions in the affirmative, then we need to reevaluate. We need to redirect. We need to refresh our perspective and what we are currently doing, so that we can become trustworthy.
Remember, it may not always look a certain way, but, if it is in our care and we have been blessed with it, we must do our best to be faithful with it. We must not fumble the bag, drop the ball, and lose the trust of our ever-faithful God.
Peace and Love