“I left the joy of soccer for the far greater joy of the Kingdom.” –Keith McFarland, 2019
If you were on my blog four weeks ago, you saw this quote featured on the Quote of the Week section. You probably raised an eyebrow at the fact that I was quoting my dad, but otherwise, you left it alone. This quote isn’t as profound as some of the others that I’ve posted, so it probably didn’t draw as much attention as the others.
However, to an athlete, this quote doesn’t make sense. After all, when you’re such a good soccer player that you get scholarship offers from D1 schools, you usually tend to accept those offers. Yeah, that was my dad. He got offers to schools that currently rank in the hardest schools to get into in the state of West Virginia. He is easily the best soccer player I’ve ever met or trained under (I spent a year under him when I was 9, then quit in favor of basketball. I’m such a bad son 🙂). So, when I asked him why he didn’t accept those valuable and coveted offers, he responded with the quote seen above.
As I said before, to an athlete, that’s insane. I can guarantee you, if I received a basketball scholarship to Duke or Gonzaga, you can bet I’d be accepting it on the spot. And yet, my dad’s quote showed something- There is no higher calling then the Kingdom of God, found within ministry. I am not bitter about my dad’s choice. After all, if he had chosen to accept the offer, he never would have met my mom at Bible college, and I wouldn’t exist!
At the heart of man is found a desire for power. We crave power, and we are willing to do anything to receive it. Adolf Hitler was responsible for the death of millions in his quest for power. My little sister, Selah (4 years old), craves power, found in the form of forcing our poor dog Mountie to do tricks at all hours of the day. Her power over the dog makes her feel strong, needed, or relevant. A craving for power is found within all of us, from the demon-possessed madman to my four-year-old sister. In that desire for power (and recognition), we fight and struggle to be recognized and glorified. As a culture, the United States glorifies power. To many, a real man is one that gains power through force, taking what he wants. So, when one is offered a place of power, to do the unthinkable and refuse is often seen as crazy. Certainly, my dad’s parents thought he was a little crazy at first. But, to serve God is a far greater cause, and my dad was correct in choosing God over recognition and possible fame.
I’m not removing the necessity for power. Without people in positions of power, the United States would crumble. But when God calls us, we must put down everything and follow him. Even if that means leaving a soccer or basketball scholarship.
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