Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ray Lewis: Good and Faithful Servant?

There is nothing lukewarm about Ray Lewis.  He elicits that response in others--people love him or they hate him.  He is vocal, he is emotional,  and his expression of faith is no different.  After the Baltimore Ravens won the AFC title, he knelt down in total submission to God.  He kept his prayerful posture, his head to the ground for longer than anyone would have guessed.  And the media captured every last second of it. He is a competitor and he is a Christian.  I would be hard pressed to know what matters more.  His words to the press in New Orleans were an answer to that question.  He said,

"Rings fade, they tarnish, but the relationship I have with Him will never die," he says. "My ultimate goal is to leave a great name, so that one day when those skies finally spread, I'll hear those famous words, Well done, good and faithful servant."

This is the second time in the last week I have heard an NFL football player declare the significance of those words in their life: Well done, good and faithful servant.  The message is clear.  And I have to admit, it's a message that moves me.  I hope when I meet the Good Lord, He will say the same to me.  

Such words almost become a personal ethic, a motto to live by.  I'm not sure you can search them out.  Rather, they might come to you and speak for you, in the way that the words Let's Roll! have come to signify the life of Mark Bingham.

Bingham was one of the four men widely believed to have led the passenger insurrection that sent United Flight 93 plunging into a deserted field near Shanksville, Pa., killing all 44 aboard but thwarting the terrorists' plot to destroy the Capitol in Washington, D.C.  He was a gay man, a rugby player at Cal who many believe yelled "Let's Roll!" as these heroes launched their attack.

And yet, I think it's important to search out a motto for our own lives. It can be one to guide our spiritual journey.  Scripture is a rife resource.

Steve Pinkston, Director of Christian Service at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose concludes every e-mail with the words "Press On."  I can't help but smile when he says those words to me.  What delight I took when I discovered the source of his motto was in St. Paul's letter to the Philippians, 3:14:  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. And when Steve leaves any place he visits, the final words people see is that message; they are on his license plate.
I would be lying if I wrote that I wish the best for the good and faithful servant--the former Superbowl MVP, two-time defensive player of the year, 13-time pro-bowl ballplayer, and 7-time all-pro linebacker--on this Superbowl Sunday.  But I am grateful that he vocalized a beautiful spiritual motto.   

What words capture your life?  Serve as your spiritual ethic? Motto of faith?
Go Niners!  Let's Roll!!

Photo Credits
Ray on Fire

Ray in Prayer
Psalm 91

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