I realize many of you probably aren’t aware of this, but between the joy-filled season of Christmas and New Years Day is what’s known as Black Monday. Tomorrow is recognized as Black Monday because several National Football League coaches are expected to be fired from their jobs. Just looking back a few years, twelve coaches were fired in 2011, seven coaches were fired in 2012 and ten coaches could find the pink slip in their mailboxes tomorrow.
Now I realize the firing of these coaches isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of our lives, and even though NFL coaches earn an average of three million dollars per year, I still find myself feeling distressed for some of them. I mean, they’re only human. Of course there are going to be occasions when a coach makes a bad decision that might cost them a game. And should a team owner expect a coach to perfectly train and prepare each player—is it the coaches fault when a player drops the ball in the end zone? And ponder this, is it really Christian to fire a coach because a certain quarterback doesn’t play up to expectation? Should a coach be fired because he can’t seem to motivate his team?
As I was reflecting on Black Monday, I began to think, what if God was like an NFL owner. Would he terminate me for the way I treat Vicki? Would he expect me to place higher value on her? Or would he have fired me for the way I discipled my children when they were younger. And what feedback would he give me for how I interact with my children now?
And when it comes to being a neighbor or citizen in the community, I wonder if he would question my leadership and effort in working together in harmony. And in regards to managing his checkbook, what would he think about my investments?
And then last but not least, I wonder, how would he assess my leadership role in his church? Would he be surprised by my lack of seeking his counsel? Would he begin searching for my replacement because of my lack of dependence on his Holy Spirit? Would he let me go because I erred on the side of too much grace or too much truth? Or would I find the pink slip under my door for my poor decisions in both word and deed?
As I reflected on how God dealt with his chosen leaders in the Bible, I acknowledge my hope and peace rests in his grace. I can only take comfort in his patience and grace filled way knowing there is no Black Monday for those he loves. Yes, I will experience his loving discipline from time to time in order that I might more faithfully lead like his Son, but like Abraham, Moses, David, Jonah, Peter, and Paul, I am grateful his mercies are new every day.
I stand in agreement with Jeremiah’s journal entry in Lamentations 3, “God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left. God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God.
Well, those are my thoughts for now. I better get back to work; today begins another new and exciting season making disciples in his kingdom!
Happy New Year! Mike