March 26—Take My Life, and Let It Be

Take my life and let it be

Consecrated, Lord, to thee.

Take my moments and my days;

Let them flow in endless praise,

Let them flow in endless praise. (“Take My Life, and Let It Be” by Frances Ridley Havergal)

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29–31 ESV)

Rather than waiting until he was more well known as a player or gained some kind of clout after a few seasons, Michael Jordan’s contract with the Chicago Bulls included a special clause from the very beginning of his NBA career. This clause, known as the Love of the Game clause, allowed Jordan to play a game of basketball with anybody at anytime, anywhere. Most team managers and coaches tend to be wary about these sorts of clauses because they increase the odds that the player will get injured, potentially keeping them from playing ever again if the injury is serious enough. Yet, Jordan loved basketball so much that he didn’t want to be forced into a situation where he could only play at practices and NBA games; he wanted the freedom to play whenever he wanted to.

Jordan’s love for the game of basketball permeated every aspect of his life, whether he was on the court or not. God expects this same level of dedication to Him out of His people. As Jesus reminds us, God has always called his people – both the Israelites and those of us who fall under the new covenant – to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Ultimately, being with the sick, mourning with those who mourn, and praying for those who are persecuted are, for the Christian, activities done out of “love for the game,” which is to say love for God and neighbor. Can you honestly say that you have given over your moments and your days to God so that they might “flow in endless praise”? How have the recent crises in your city compelled you act?