Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? Since obedience is often challenging as it predicates removing the focus on us and limiting as well our freedom, how difficult do you find it to obey God when he presents you with the opportunity to obey him rather than yourself or someone of the world?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
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Bosses. I’ve had many over the course of nearly 45 years of employment. Some were Boards, some managers, some customers when I was self-employed, and others company executives. I’ve worked under both men and women. While most of these people were good and decent people to work for, some were not. Such is the lot of working for bosses; there’s always the possibility they may not like you or you might not like them. In the early years, prior to working full time, I had another boss in my life, however, my Dad. As I look back over those decades of being “bossed around” by bosses, as well as the nearly two decades I lived under the auspices of my Dad, I have to admit that there were some bosses I obeyed readily and others that I did so only reluctantly. It all depended upon how bossy the boss was to some degree. But there was another consideration that did, perhaps, have an even greater impact on my level of obedience: was my obedience based on a master-servant or a father-son relationship? Although most bosses I worked for liked me, there wasn’t a one who loved me.
Obedience is often challenging. It predicates removing the focus on us and placing it on others. It is challenging as well because it tends to limit our freedom to do things the way we want to do them.
Here’s a story. Roger Staubach, who led the Dallas Cowboys to the World Championship in 1971, admitted that his position as a quarterback who didn’t call his own signals was a source of trial for him. There were a number of starting quarterbacks in the NFL at the time who called their own plays in the huddle or made play changes at the line. Coach Landry, however, sent in every play. He told Roger when to pass, when to run and only in emergency situations could he change the play (and he had better be right!). Even though Roger considered coach Landry to be a “genius” when it came to football strategy, pride said that he should be able to run his own team. He later said, “Coach Landry was like a father to me. I faced up to the issue of obedience. Once I learned to obey there was harmony, fulfillment, and victory.” (Source Unknown)
Staubach discovered in his relationship with Landry what I discovered long ago in my relationship with my Dad; obedience had a different ring to it when it involved listening to someone who was more than just a boss. My Dad loved me. I believe that Landry also saw his relationship with Staubach similarly. It was the kind of coach he was. I never felt like a slave doing my Dad’s bidding, yet I sometimes did in the tasking relationships I had with some of my workplace bosses. In that sense I was in bondage to their will and not obedient as I was to my Dad. The Apostle John writes in John 13:13. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.” Jesus here revealed to his disciples that obedience to God’s will was a measure of our relationship with him, certainly founded on our love for him and he for us. Such relationships are dictatorial only in the sense that, like my Dad, these are founded in love; and nothing else. God never tells us what to do. Like a father he bids us to do. Would that all the bosses in our lives were so motivated.
We pray. Thank you Lord for calling us to obedience, but never ordering us to comply. As you leave so much generous space for love and knowing in our lives, may we also show that kind of leadership to those who look to us for guidance. Forgive us Father when we think of your will as confining or onerous without consideration for the love that is always there to move us to obey. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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