“Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go.”
– Ruth 1:16
The match with our cross-town rival was going to be intense. The teams were evenly matched and it would take our best effort to get the victory. In game-planning, it was decided that our opponents best player was not going beat us. He was athletic, fast and capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch. In an effort to take him out of his game, we decided to mark him with our best defender and make his life as miserable as possible. Our defender was given these explicit instructions, “Wherever he goes, you go!” We took the challenge one more step by telling him, even if your man goes to the bathroom or the concession stand, you go with him. The message was clear, do whatever it takes to keep your man from determining the outcome of the match. The strategy worked to perfection. Frustrated and even angry at our tactics, this excellent player became a mess and the victory was ours.
As coaches, we like to be around people that are committed to the task. Ruth knew about commitment and doing whatever it took to get the job done. She had married the son of a woman named Naomi and loved her very much. Naomi’s husband had died and ten years later, Ruth’s husband also died, leaving both women in a difficult situation. There was nothing worse than being a widow in this time because women without husbands were often taken advantage of or ignored. Naomi encouraged Ruth to look out for herself, find a new husband and move on with her life. Ruth’s immediate response was “wherever you go, I will go.” Ruth was willing to give up her personal security in order to care for Naomi. How did God reward Ruth for her commitment? She became a great-grandmother of King David and a direct ancestor of Jesus.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your unwavering commitment to me. Strengthen me today Lord, to be committed to you in all that I do. Give me the heart to go wherever you go and never turn back. Amen.