Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:13, NASB
This Sunday, the Seahawks enter the Super Bowl as one point underdogs. Seems like we’ve been here before, as last year they were two point underdogs and we know how that one turned out. A complete blowout win for Seattle. You gotta’ wonder if this will be same song, second verse.
After all, it is being played the day before Groundhog Day.
But my thoughts in preparation for the Super Bowl are about a specific point in time in the game, that space just before each snap.
In that moment of silence on the line of scrimmage, each player is focused on his game and the play that’s in front of him. His brain is fine-tuned into his role in the upcoming play. His eyes are locked onto his counterpart on the opposing team. He’s shut out the noise of all the screaming fans.
Instead, his ears are paying keen attention to something else. The quarterback. His call-outs remind the offense of the play at hand, while the defense desperately attempts to deconstruct the secret code.
But every player is waiting, in position, suspended in a pregnant pause before it all goes down.
Waiting for the snap.
Consider this as just an updated metaphor for the rich imagery of 1 Peter 1:13.
Prepare your minds for action. In biblical times, this more formally translated to “gird your loins for action”. This referred to the action a man would take in preparation for a workout of some kind, such as a full-out run. The “loins” referred to a man’s mid-section, the area around his belt. In “girding the loins”, he would tuck in the front of his flowing garment into his belt to remove the obstruction that would otherwise impede his ability to quickly maneuver. Essentially, Scripture is telling us there is preparation needed for our ability to follow God’s leading in obedience. The more we know Scripture, the more it serves us well as the Playbook for life. The more we prepare off the field, the better we can execute the plays on game day.
Keep sober in spirit. To the extent something else has our attention, we will be distracted – even intoxicated – unable to respond the moment our Quarterback calls for the hike. Again, this is a daily discipline, not just on game day.
Fix your hope completely. In the microseconds before the snap, each player pays careful attention to the calls from the quarterback. In life, we must be completely focused on Christ and His calls. He is our Deliverer, no matter how hopelessly down we seem to be. And we must wait patiently. Jumping too early gets us a flag on the play; delay can result in serious loss or injury. There’s always grace, but let’s remember that sometimes choices have permanent consequences.
As we watch the game this Sunday, perhaps that space right before the “hut hut” can take on fresh meaning.
May we be prepared, sober and focused on His calling the plays in our lives… as we wait patiently and expectantly for the snap.