It’s the 4th quarter! Who doesn’t love a good sports metaphor?

This would be the time that a coach would tell his players to really dig deep and give it all they’ve got.  He’d tell them to leave it all on the floor (or field).  This is it.  The 4th quarter is the last chance you’ve got to make it happen and pull off a win.  It gives us a level of urgency when we understand that time is short.  

Basketball season is over, but we are in the 4th quarter here at LCA.  It’s the home stretch, if you will.  Whether we’re playing, coaching, or spectating, sometimes we get overinvested in a game.  We may need a reminder that it’s just a game.  I think, more often these days, we have become apathetic about the game and about life.  “It’s just a game, so it doesn’t matter.  It’s just middle school.  It’s just 2020. It’s just…” 

I’m frequently the one to put things in perspective and look at the bigger picture.  It’s often my job to talk people out of catastrophizing a single experience, but today I think we need a good ol’ fashioned locker room pep talk. Here’s my best attempt from where I sit.

Despite all its challenges and setbacks, this school year does matter.  The 4th quarter does matter.  It matters because it’s the last opportunity to get grades on a transcript for this year.  It’s the last few weeks to finish the content we want to cover.  For high school students, it matters for future college and career plans, but it matters for an even greater reason than those academic things.

This year matters because the Lord has created us and put us in this exact moment in time and this exact place.  We are not here by accident- students, teachers, parents, grandparents, anyone else.  The Lord, in His sovereignty, has set us in this place to build his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

That means working hard on homework as unto the Lord.  It means taking good care of our physical bodies that God has given us.  It means telling the truth in a culture often marked by falsehood.  It means shining the light of the gospel into the darkness around us.  It means loving our neighbor because, again, none of us are here by accident.  Your neighbor may be a co-worker, a classmate, a teacher, a boss, or your literal neighbor.  None of that proximity is by accident.  God equips us for what is before us even when what is before us seems beyond our ability.  

So, go, in the strength of the Lord.  Fight through the 4th quarter.  Leave it all on the court. Live life on purpose, because, even right now, you do have a purpose.

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