I was coaching my son Dodge’s flag football team. I really wanted to get this one kid on the team involved in a touchdown. The little dude caught the pass and then he ran in the opposite direction and scored a safety….well, if you asked him I bet he’d say he scored a touchdown! He spiked the ball and was so pumped! As the coach, I just said something like, “Way to hustle man. You went the wrong way, but you sure ran the wrong way really fast!”
I’m about to start my second season as a coach for his team. I enjoyed watching how much the kids learned in one season. I mean think about it, football is really confusing. If you were to strip away all you knew about the game and started with nothing-it’s kind of hard to explain.
It was easy to get frustrated at times. I would tell them a play and then immediately they would somehow do worse than the opposite of what I had told them. hahaha It was amazing.
Can you imagine my response to the kids if I was consumed by the project of winning? It wouldn’t have been pretty. I’d look like that Peyton Manning SNL skit. You’d see me pelting 7yr old kids in the back of the head with the ball and making them run suicides.
You see, there was something much bigger at stake than just winning the game. My job was to win their hearts. Help them have fun. Help them feel a part of a team. Teach them about competition, courage, and what it means to be a part of the team. My project was much bigger than winning a game.
I’m reminded of a saying that replays in my head often- don’t get blinded by the project and miss the people.
Projects are an attractive thing. We think if we can accomplish them all then everything will finally be well in the world. We buy the lie that says, if we complete the objective we are winning life. Here’s the deal, sometimes these projects are so attractive we’re willing to bulldoze over relationships in our lives to achieve them.
Don’t be that person.
We see this tension play out in the life of Jesus. Think about His entire ministry. Jesus comes on earth and demonstrates a new way to live; a new type of culture that flips the systems of this world upside down.
There are two paths to achieve this goal. One path is to win at all costs. To fight for his way of life. To use force to show us his way of life is best. To call down the angels of heaven to force us into new behavior. But doing this would bulldoze over relationships. This method values the win over the people.
Thank God he didn’t choose that method.
The method he chose was something different. He wasn’t going to get blinded by the project and miss the people. He chose to see us and love us even when we are standing in the way of completing the project. He declares, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” To Jesus, our hearts have always been the project.
That’s our call as well. As Jesus followers, we have to get perspective on the projects, deadlines, and goals of this world because they are never as valuable as the people of this world.
Don’t get blinded by the project and miss the people.