The Buffalo Sabres have really laid an egg this season. Don't get me wrong - there have been moments of excitement and triumph - but those were usually followed by mediocrity and lackluster performance. Play has been flat for most of the season, and when Ryan Miller, our beleaguered goalie, was injured in a game where his teammates allowed him to be hit time after time until the other team finally knocked him out, everything fell apart.
The bottom line is that most of the year this team didn't show up to play; they just went through the motions. That won't get you in the playoffs. That won't get you much of anything.
"Going through the motions" isn't unique to the Buffalo Sabres. Many of us are guilty of the same thing in our workplaces, our families, and in our faith. I have a son who shines in school every once in a while, but most of the time he just coasts (my wife says this irritates me because it was the way I was in high school...). There are days at work when I feel numb and do the bare minimum to get by. As a missionary I sometimes find myself avoiding work and taking the easy way out. My bathroom is STILL NOT FINISHED nearly a YEAR after the "remodel" began. My faith life suffers when I quickly and rotely mumble off prayers to check off my daily "list" of spiritual "to-do's", or at times skip praying all together.
When we go through the motions and coast through life we pretty much find ourselves in the same position as my favorite hockey team: struggling to get by, feeling frustrated, and accomplishing very little. Not a recipe for success. It's a self-perpetuating cycle of mediocrity. We become "lukewarm." And that is NOT the place to be...there are a few things Jesus was rather specific on. This is definitely one of them.
How do we break the cycle? How do we rise up and live the words of Ephesians 5:14: "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light."? The entire fifth and sixth chapters give us the plan:
1. Be imitators of God. 2. Live in love. 3. Don't even think about immorality or impurity. 4. No obscenities or silly talk. 5. Give thanksgiving always. 6. Be obedient. 7. Don't hang with people who would lure you into sin. 8. Learn what pleases God. 9. Don't live foolishly. 10. Try to understand the will of God. 11. Don't be a drunkard. 12. Think and speak in holiness, remembering psalms and hymns. 13. Be subordinate to others in reverence for Christ. 14. Husbands, love your wives! 15. Wives, be obedient to your husbands! 16. Children, obey your parents! 17. Put on the armor of God and prepare for battle. 18. Realize that we are running out of time and need to get to business (just like the Sabres!).
"Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light."
Could someone please forward this post to Lindy Ruff and the guys?