“It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you,
must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your
slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give
his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:26-28 (ESV)
(In memory of Reid Bowyer, a great son, husband, father,
servant and friend. “Stick to the Task!”)
There is little mystery why the lineman mentality is part of my DNA. The little hand-written sign in my dad’s office flashed like a neon sign when I walked in each day. It read, “Don’t worry about the credit, just get the job done!” You just have to love linemen. Coaches know football games are won and lost in the trenches; yet to the average fan, linemen are just over-sized obstacles who get in the way of the running backs and receivers. Merlin Olson, a Hall of Fame NFL lineman, once said, “Football lineman are motivated by a more complicated self-determined series of factors than the simple fear of humiliation in the public gaze, which is the emotion that galvanizes the back and receivers.” From that very statement, you can tell linemen are intelligent. They are also tenacious, relentless and stubborn. With little visible reward or public recognition, they serve their team.
A little of the lineman mentality would serve us well in our faith journey as well. Like Jesus’ disciples, we often spend too much time and effort trying to be the greatest. How often are we like the running back or receiver who enters the end zone, thrusts the ball in the air, and breaks down into his personal version of a touchdown celebration? Look at me, look what I did for Jesus! Christ said things are different in His Kingdom; greatness is defined by service. The life of Jesus Christ can be summed up in two words—serve and give. A humble King was born in a manger and died on a cross for you and me. Are we worried about looking good and receiving credit or are we laser-focused on getting the job done? Commit to the lineman mentality. Let’s be tenacious, relentless and stubborn when it comes to serving and sharing our love for Jesus with others?
Thank you Lord for the life of Reid Bowyer. He showed me how to put aside personal selfishness in order to serve others well. Open my eyes and heart to those in need today. I want to be consumed by the desire to serve. RGIR – “Reid Got It Right!”