These last two games from the Seattle Seahawks have really got me thinking that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. First that comeback against Green Bay two weeks ago, and then that intercepted pass that cost the game against the Patriots last night after an otherwise well-played game. One was a good experience of it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, the other – not so much.
Richard Sherman’s face really said it all: joy, shock and disbelief, and finally, crushing disappointment. Fans left asking, Why, oh, why didn’t they run it in? It might have taken a few seconds longer, they might have encountered a little bit more opposition, but they could have won it. (Coulda’, shoulda’, woulda’, am I right?) It only took one critical error in judgment for Seattle to lose the game.
It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
I was thinking about how this principle relates to my personal testimony, especially regarding the vision God has given me for Seattle. The whole situation has not been unlike a football team’s journey to winning the Super Bowl. (I’d apologize for what’s coming next, but illustrations are kind of my thing – it’s the teacher in me).
As most of you know, God laid Seattle on my heart four years ago, as I prayed about ministry after college. Obviously, I didn’t end up going, and it looked like Seattle was off the table, until one of my friends basically asked, “What about Seattle?” From that point on, it was at least in the back of my head, but I was pigeonholed in this job that I desperately needed, so I didn’t do much about it. About a year after that came the dreams, which I didn’t understand at first, but I prayed for several months, and God eventually made it clear that they were about Seattle. At that point, I just accepted that Seattle was where I needed to go, and started making concrete plans: you know, packing, gathering stuff for life on my own, and applying for jobs. It seemed like Seattle was a go at the beginning of 2014, but nothing happened. Nothing in Seattle, that is, but God was closing plenty of doors here in Dallas, and I wrote the word hypomone on my wrist every day to remind myself about remaining under.
Still, I was tired of waiting, and I met this guy. Please don’t get me wrong, he was a good guy, a great guy, even, but I wasn’t going to be with him and go to Seattle, and I knew it from the moment I laid eyes on him. I wrestled with wanting this relationship and knowing that God had other plans for me in Seattle all of last summer and into the fall. Honestly, it looked like the relationship was going to win out, but then at the end of August momentum started to shift, as a result of several factors. I continued wrestling until I grudgingly agreed to go to Seattle at the end of October, and even then, I decided I was going to try to have both the relationship and Seattle (long distance, you know).
At the beginning of December, God just shut that door, which allowed me to stop striving for my way. It wasn’t even a resentful thing, it was just, “Okay, God.” And I was from that moment, fully recommitted to doing Seattle God’s way (and He has expanded on that vision), and I knew that was a win, my own personal comeback.
But, as my dad said after the Patriots scored their final touchdown last night, “There’s still a whole lot of game left.”
With the vision God has given me for Seattle (and let’s just say, it’s more than just me), I feel like I’ve got the ball in the end zone, just feet away from a victory touchdown, seconds left to play, and God is calling me to run it in.
Honestly, I’m overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed when it was just me, but now it seems there are bigger things at play. It would be so much easier, and faster to pass the ball off to someone else, but it’s lazy, and I run the risk of a costly interception, so I’m going to run it in. For me, that means lots of prayer, lots of intercession, and absolutely anything else God asks me to do until the clock runs out.
What about YOU? Have you ever had a personal comeback, that no one would have seen coming? Where is God calling you to run it in in your life?
And here’s a question for only some of you to consider (you already know who you are), but I’ve got to ask: is God calling YOU to Seattle? If so, we should most definitely talk! You can private message me on Facebook, direct message me on Twitter, or email me at lydia[dot]evelyn[dot]thomas[at]gmail[dot]com.