Thursday, August 30, 2012

If I Could Be Like That...

Well it has been a busy summer, but it was good - spending time doing the things I love with family and friends! And while I am sad to see the end of summer, there is good news, football season is coming!!
Ever since I was old enough to understand football, the Oklahoma Sooners have been my team, which being from Oklahoma aint hard! It was the mid 70s and the phenomenal Billy Sims was running the football; man was he great! No one could catch him, he was like lightning on the field with the moves of a cheetah and I was in awe. In my mind there is only one other RB that comes close to his caliber, the great Barry Sanders.
My friends and I would play football out in the courtyard of the apartment complex we all lived in, and every time I had the ball, this fat kid imagined being Billy Sims. Every time I made a move or made it past a tackler (no touch for us, because touch is for sissies, and everyone cheated anyway!) I would yell, “JUST LIKE BILLY! Did you see that? That was just like Billy Sims!” And then later on, as I lay in bed, I would visualize the moves I made and think, I was just like Billy.
As I grew up, I knew I would never be like Billy, I was too slow (in a sad bit of irony, I ended up being the slowest kid on our high school football team) and too, well... round. But I wanted to be like that. I would give anything…
Have you ever said that, “I would give anything, just to live one day in those shoes…”? Have you ever found yourself day dreaming of being someone else? Wishing you were somewhere else, doing something else, in someone else’s shoes? I think that most of us have. We wanted to be ball players, rock stars, super heroes, movie stars, etc, etc. We wanted to be like that, and we would give anything. Now we wish we were that guy at work that everybody envies, that family down the block that has it all, or those people you went to high school with who are out there living "the dream". And what would you give to live one day in those shoes?
Over the last couple of weeks I have been asked by a few people the question why did God create us. And while there are many reasons, I think the simplest is, because it is what God does. He creates. And after he made all the universe, earth, and all its various creatures, he made us.
But the part that blows me away every time is this:
        Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
        So God created man in his own image,
                in the image of God he created him;
                male and female he created them.
(Genesis 1:26-27 ESV)
My purpose in this writing is not to answer why we were created, but to point out how: in his image.
Believe it or not, God fashioned you into his image! In the ancient world, men would fashion their gods into their likeness (or whatever they saw around them, or felt was important, ie. rain, cows, etc.), but the reality is, we were fashioned into God’s likeness.
You know, we worry and whine that we are not like someone else, or we are not as lucky, gifted, talented, good looking, cool or rich like someone else, however we were created like someone else. We were made into an image of someone else. And it is this someone else that we need to be more like.
That is one of the purposes of why Jesus came, to teach us what it means to be more like God, only now we call it Christ-like, because he is our example. So instead of wishing we could be like Billy, or "like Mike" (Jordan), or the guy down the street, let us strive for Christ-likeness! If we could be like that, man what would you give?
Here is the truth, I will never be Billy Sims, ever. I will never be like him. I think he was great for his time, and I even got to meet him once, which was cool. But I am not him, I am just Steve. However, I was made in the image of God, the creator of everything, The Almighty, savior of all humanity. The author and perfecter of love, the prince of peace, and king of kings. And so were you. You may never be the next big thing, or a super star, or the guy that everyone wishes they were, but you are an image-bearer of God. If you are going to be like anyone, why not be like the one whose likeness you were made in?
Jesus came to show us how to do that. And he gave up his life so that you could have a new life, so that you could be like that. It is time to stop wishing we were like other people, and begin acting like we are made in the likeness of the creator of everything! It is time to put aside the silly dreams of unreality, and pick up the truth, that you are made in the image of God.
So, may you realize that you were made into God’s likeness. And may you realize that he is the only person we need to be like. Because the truth is you can be like that, it is not easy, and we are never perfect, but Jesus has made it possible for you to become the person God intended you to be!
                                                                                                                     Peace and love,

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