The Long Game

There are many times when we have to play the long game. Victory doesn’t happen in the first quarter. The race isn’t won in the first mile. Instead, we understand that the victory will only come if we keep the end—often much further in the distance than we can see—in mind. Parenting is a big example of this. If only we were finished when the potty training was complete! Education comes to mind too. What if we knew all we ever needed to know by the third grade? Wouldn’t that be great? But these things are built upon over the years. We make one milestone in development and it sets us up for the next thing. Faith is both the instant win and the long game or “a long obedience in the same direction,” as Eugene Peterson (borrowed from Nietzsche) puts it. When God invites us, through his Spirit, to believe, and we accept that invitation we are completely and wholly his. We are redeemed. And thus, we join him in his work of redemption, in our lives and more holistically through his kingdom. On the one hand, even in the opening kickoff, we already know we have won the game, and on the other, we recognize that there is still a lot to do in the remaining time on the clock.