Football season is upon us and the fans are getting excited! Soon the favorite college teams will be playing and the professional teams will be dominating the Sunday afternoons and evenings. (Not to mention Monday and Thursday evenings!)
The game of football is, in many ways, a metaphor for life. There is one particular way that I am constantly reminded of, one that everyone can understand, even if they don’t follow football. It is this. The duration of the football game is a limited 60 minutes, broken into four fifteen minute quarters. Life is similar…
According to the World Bank, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.74 years. Divided into four quarters, we have 19.685 years in each quarter of life. For discussion sake, let’s just say we have four quarters of 20 years. Which quarter are you in currently?
A 40 year old is entering their third quarter of life! A 60 year old is now in their fourth quarter!
Obviously, no one knows how long they will live! Many die in the first quarter of life. However, this is a great way to keep life in perspective, understanding, of course, that there is no guarantee of 80 years!
How do Christ followers respond to this extremely realistic perspective? The Word of God gives the answer in several places!
Moses wrote this prayer in Psalm 90:10-12 “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away. Who understands the power of Your anger and Your fury, according to the fear that is due Your name? So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”
In this prayer, we are reminded of…
>The limited length of our life. 70-80 years
>The struggle of our life. “labor and sorrow”
>The wrath of God against sin, which causes our struggle,
and the opportunity to fear, or reverence God.
>The petition we need to make… Lord “teach us to number
our days, so that we may present to YOU a heart of
The Apostle Paul wrote this in Ephesians 5:15-18. “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise. making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”
In these words the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, admonishes us to…
>“Walk” or live our lives wisely, based on God’s plan.
>Maximize the opportunity God graciously gave us. “Time”
in this verse means a specific period of time or season,
literally, our lifetime.
>Avoid foolishness, which is opposite of knowing God’s will.
(God’s will is clearly spelled out in His Word!)
>Avoid being under the influence of anything other than
the Holy Spirit! That happens as we yield to, are obedient
to the will of God through the enabling power of the Holy
Whether you are in the first quarter or the fourth, as I am, you can begin today to live in a way as described above!
Even if you don’t like football!!