A Pastor’s Ponderings: Fall Kickoff

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By Sam Brown

I wonder if you remember the good old days where everyone was talking about finding our new normal and what our new normal was going to look like? That was only like a month or two ago, and it doesn’t seem like we’re there yet, or like we’re even close to being there.
The reality is that it still feels like it hasn’t happened yet. In fact, many of us still haven’t settled in and we feel completely unsettled still!

Think about this: So many people have been trying to make decisions about school, attending events, wearing masks, commenting on Facebook or sharing their opinion, the future of their job, the economy, and what’s going to happen with the upcoming election. Just naming those gives me extreme anxiety!

I bet if we were honest, we would admit we are READY to get back into some kind of routine and rhythm. Now that school has kicked off and we’re in full swing into the fall months, it provides a sense of normalcy for all of us! (PS. Can someone get me a Pumpkin Spice Latté?)

But, what if we’ve been thinking about finding a new normal in the wrong way? Like, what if it’s not something that happens TO us, but that happens IN us and our families?
You know what I love about the Fall? FOOTBALL SEASON!

Now, before you write me off because you found out I’m a Florida Gators fan, I love football, because I played football in high school and even had the opportunity to play in college. Believe it or not, I was an offensive lineman, was 270 lbs. and could bench press over 350! Trust me those days are long gone. HA!

But You know what I always looked forward to as a player and even as a fan now?

The KICKOFF of the season and the kickoff of each game. As soon as the previous season would end, we would hit the weights, hit the field for conditioning, and circle the kickoff of the upcoming season on the calendar. And everything we did was to prepare for that day.
As fans, we do the same thing. Ever been tailgating?

• If you’re one of those people who paint up for the game, you’re up at like 6 a.m. getting ready.
• You get out there at like 8 a.m.
• You pick out your perfect outfit the night before.
• You have your grill ready with your favorite meat ready to roll.
• Fave beverage of choice is in the cooler and iced down.

And when it’s time for kickoff, there IS NO WAY YOU’RE MISSING IT.

If we break it down, think about how much preparation goes into this moment?

I think the same anticipation is here for this fall—every fall is a chance for a restart. We need an opportunity to not only BOUNCE BACK, but also COME BACK. And every great comeback story starts with kicking off the second half well. So, imagine this is our halftime speech.

I think in all the craziness, one of the main things that’s fallen off in many of our lives is spiritual health. If we were to be honest with ourselves, it’s likely we’ve neglected meeting together. Most studies are saying 80% of people are not attending worship services in person or online. We haven’t been reading the Bible, we haven’t been serving, or meeting in groups, and we’ve gotten out of rhythm in our relationship with God.

In Mark 4:16-20, we see a famous parable that Jesus taught about a farmer sowing seeds. The final part of this scripture describes what it looks like to have a healthy relationship with God.

“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
-Mark 4:20

God is constantly sowing seeds on an ongoing basis in our lives. In other words, God is constantly trying to break through to us in our lives. We just have to stop for a moment and notice how he is working. Once we hear what God is saying, we need to accept it and then, in turn, learn how it applies to our lives and begin to live it out.

If we want to find our new normal this fall, we have to remember that God will always do his part, but we MUST do our part. We must not neglect the spiritual habits of growing in a relationship with Christ and preparing for the kickoff.

My prayer and hope for your life is that we would make a commitment to stop letting what’s happening to us dictate what our new normal is going to be like, and we start recommitting ourselves to what God has for us, and kickoff a new season of spiritual growth.

Here’s to the kickoff of an amazing Fall!

Sam is the Campus Pastor at Crosspoint’s Freeport Campus.