Monday, June 16, 2014

June 17, 2014

"Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4

Indiana Wesleyan University is not only a world-class Christ-centered educational institution, but they have also  a well-regarded athletic program. No thanks to me.

I was a brand new college freshman playing a brand new sport in the very first intercollegiate athletic event in the history of Indiana Wesleyan University (then Marion College). The varsity soccer team was playing at rival Huntington University and we were excited and nervous. Not only was it the very first college contest in history, it was also the first soccer match for most of us who had never played competitive soccer before.

Somewhere near the middle of the first half I was sent into the game. My heart was pounding and I was pumped. Like a man possessed I was all over the field making tackles. I was inspired! But then, as I was moving in on a player with the ball he unleashed a rocket of a kick that was whistling right at me about chest-high. (Now remember I was a catcher. For most of my life I was accustomed to people firing baseballs at me at hard as they could and it was my conditioned reflex to put up my hands and catch the ball with my glove). So, it the heat of the moment when a soccer ball is whizzing at me my life-long baseball reflex trumped my newly developing soccer instincts and my hands flew up to react to the ball immediately I was called for a hands penalty. They proceeded to score on the penalty kick and that turned out to be the difference in the game.

We lost and it was my fault! It was a stupid mistake! I knew better and I would never make that mistake again but in that split second I broke a rule and cost my team the game. I let them down! They played their hearts out and my blunder wasted their efforts.

I was devastated. These forty-some years later it still hurts! I am ashamed! I can't believe I am sharing it with you.

When Jesus said, "Blessed are they who mourn", He meant that I should have the same sort of heart-breaking  shame and sorrow over my sin as I did over my soccer miscue. That means sorrow over my sinfulness and sorrow over every sin every time.

Jesus wants me to mourn over what y sin does to Him. He wants me to mourn over the pain it can bring others and He wants me to have great sorrow because sin hinders my fellowship with Him.

Want to be blessed? Be heart-broken over your sin.