Athlete, Here are Two Households


Athlete, Here are Two Households

Morris Michalski

1 Timothy 3:15 (NIV)

… if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

There are two places where I’ve spent a lot of time, two “households” where I’ve done a lot of living and a lot of dying. There are two domains where I’ve wrestled with all sorts of things. Like great gardens, both have grown me. 

One place is the locker room. There I’ve found a lot of:

GEAR: to equip and uniform me for battle. I love so much of what I’ve found there. I’ve worn it all with pride and gratefulness.

REFUGE: from the assaults of life. Feeling safe in an unsafe world is critical. Locker rooms are that to me.

GAME PLANS: strategies to insure my wins and move me beyond my failures. Relentlessly making and executing them is so fun to me.

GOOD COACHING: to navigate through the challenges life throws at us. A wise coach makes a huge difference.

TRUTH: Game film doesn’t lie. And I find it through the perspectives and meaningful input others there bring, as hard and humbling as it might be sometimes to receive.

FAMILY: a tribe of people who go on mission with me. Camaraderie and brotherhood mean so much. A team built at the heart level is an unbeatable force.

ENCOURAGEMENT: to keep going, to stride on, to keep one’s head, to pursue excellence, to endure hardship, to get up again and again, to get ahead and stay ahead, to remain on mission and fulfill it. Extolling all this is crucial. Praising it is also crucial. Encouragement is dynamite laid and lit.

NONSENSE: grows here too. Shallow, scornful, abusive stuff has been some of my locker room experience as well. O how I wish it wasn’t so. 

Is that how you’ve experienced locker rooms? 

My other place is church, the “household of God.” The LORD calls people to build camp, to commit to live in this space. I have. And I’ve found a whole lot of good living and good dying here. 

In today’s Scripture, the apostle Paul charges young Timothy to do church well, to build his life there, to do it faithfully, order it well, and to call others to do it powerfully with him. A church that becomes home of the living God and pillar and foundation of truth is a powerful place to live and grow. These are the families that survive and thrive. 

All the same things (as in a good locker room) grow here, minus the gear and nonsense; we get the robes of righteousness later, only in way bigger, more empowering measure. 

According to the Scriptures, this is how you and I should view church: Church is a great place to FIND GOD. The living, active, brilliant, compassionate, jealous-for-us, worthy-of-worship, all-powerful, never-loses God meets people … in moments of faith, at the heart level, at church. 

The One who can flat-out coach coaches here. Though not His only way, it is His main court.

Church is a great place to FIND TRUTH. This is where God pours a foundation for truth and drops many pillars. (The Spirit and the Word see to it.) Truth rests here. So don’t look at other places like you look here. No one ever brings it like He does.

Church is a great place to DISCOVER SPIRITUAL FAMILY, folks who strive to build others up and maintain a really good, loving, selfless culture, one anyone can flourish in. It is people gathered and committed to Christ and others way more than being just a building of bricks and mortar.

Reflect:  How do you view church? Tragically flawed or truly foundational? Optional or essential? Threatening or safe haven? A place that’s irrelevant or one where you consistently find God and get anchored in rock solid, timeless truth? And how committed are you to getting there, plugging in, taking rank and serving?

A prayer to consider: O LORD, like a locker room, so much about church has challenged me and grown me. Help me stay planted in that garden so that I find You, truth and spiritual family. So many forces want to get me out of there and find none of that priceless trio. 

Draw me in. Push the world out of me. I would see Jesus (John 12:21). Help me worship You and do church as I ought, and bring others with me too. Accomplish all this in me by Your Spirit for Your glory. Amen.

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