The Boxer and the Wrestler
There are two significant events on the church calendar this weekend: The High School Winter Retreat and the Friday evening event In Hope: Trusting God With Our Singleness. Both of these have the potential to be life changing moments for those involved.
Do you buy that? Or do you just quietly filter that out as spiritual hype pastor-speak? I confess it is quite easy to speak about the potential for life changing moments and yet inwardly expect nothing remarkable to happen. Paul Simon describes this mindset well in his iconic song, The Boxer.
Now the years are rolling by me—they are rockin’ evenly
I am older than I once was, and younger than I’ll be, that’s not unusual;
No, it isn’t strange: After changes upon changes, we are more or less the same;
After changes we are more or less the same
Translation: Don’t expect transformation. Life changing moments don’t really happen. While that song is a treasured part of my formative years, God calls me to trade in the attitude of cynicism it voices for one of faith in him to do miraculous work.
Paul Simon may have The Boxer, but the Apostle Paul had The Wrestler. “Epaphras…is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” (Colossians 4:12) Paul was doing ministry in Rome and was eager to see God change lives through the power of the gospel. He begged the Colossians to pray like Epaphras “that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ…” (Colossians 4:3)
Almost 30 high school students are signed up for the retreat, and God willing, we will have a sanctuary full of singles at the event Friday night. What if the difference between these events being unremarkable or life changing was our willingness to wrestle in prayer? More or less the same…no thank you. I’m praying for ‘never the same again.’