Jeremy Lin, Platform Shoes, and Seeing as God Sees

It’s Gotta Be the Shoes!
     While Tim Tebow prays for a better “next year” for the Denver Broncos, it would appear that God has passed the off-season torch to someone else in the world of professional sports: Jeremy Lin. Lin is a rising star on the New York Knicks’ basketball roster and a household word on ESPN. However, hearing his name mentioned on John Piper’s blog yesterday made me think – “maybe we’ll get cable again and start watching the Knicks”. Of course, immediately after, a better idea buzzed into my brain – “No, we’ll just keep doing what God has called us to do and not be distracted.” (Plus, I’m a Celtics fan, and legally prohibited for cheering for any NY team or player. Note to my dear Jersey-raised wife: I love you, dear, but please!!!)

Know Your Platform…

     It’s great to see men of great intellect (that kid’s wicked smaaht, he went ta Haavid…) and powerful athletic ability (136 pts in his first 5 games. What.) living life on God’s purpose and for God’s glory. It’s especially great when they understand the value of their platform. This is also true for you and I… No, not the Harvard thing or the more points than Shaq part. The “platform” part.

     So, lemme ask you a question – do you even know your platform? Platform, defined, is “a horizontal surface or structure with a horizontal surface raised above the level of the surrounding area.” Extended to the Christian life, it means the place that God has elevated you or I to, which allows others to see His work in our life and realize His glory. It’s the place that you work,
play, or have any kind of influence that allows you the visibility and opportunity to point to Jesus. Tebow understands football is his platform to share the gospel and point the glory back to God. Lin, apparently sees basketball as his platform.


According to Piper
     Yesterday, Desiring God posted about Lin-sanity and how Jeremy recently quoted one of Piper’s books “Don’t Waste Your Life”:

“God created us to live with a single passion to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life.” John Piper – via Jeremy Lin 

Lin later goes on to say that the happiness he gets from basketball is only temporary – his treasure is truly in Christ and in Heaven. Basketball isn’t his everything, it’s just a platform to point to his Everything.
     Cardinals ball player Albert Pujols writes on his foundation’s website:

“Baseball is simply my platform to elevate Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I would also rather be known as a great husband and father than an All-Star baseball player. Perhaps one day I could be honored with an invitation into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. That would certainly be a boyhood dream of mine come true, but it is a far greater honor that one day I will be in heaven with God to enjoy Him forever.” (HT: Jesse Whitfield)

     So, what? So, these guys are famous and they’re pointing to Jesus, what does that have to do with me? I’m glad I mockingly made you ask that. You and I are famous. No, really. Somewhere in some circle, whether it’s Facebook, our neighborhood, the 2nd floor of the admin building we work in, or just the five cubes in the corner of our office, somebody knows our name. And, they either know Jesus or they don’t. God has given us a platform – a place where we can be seen either to point at ourselves or at Jesus. The question is, where are we pointing and for what reason?
See Ephesians 6.11-17 for
“the armor of God”
Your Shoes, Not Theirs.
     It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game: “well, he’s a famous ball player…” “she’s a great musician” or “I’m just an H/R guy” etc. But, if we’re going to be great at the fundamental blocking and tackling of the Christian life, we’ve got to start with the top and the bottom – the helmet of salvation and the gospel sandals of peace. What other people do, have, and where they’re placed does not need to be a distraction to us doing what we’re supposed to do in the place God has called and placed us.

     In one famous “armor of God” section of Ephesians (Eph. 6:11-17), is a phrase sometimes rendered as “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace…” When we (Cristine and I) pray this portion of scripture we often pray it in such a way that sounds like “God, help us to have the courage to speak up (witness to others) when the opportunity pops up”. In other words, “help us use the platform You have given us for Your glory in Your timing“. 

For Those About to Rock…
     Many of us would exchange anything to be a Pujols, a Tebow, or a Lin. But, regardless of our station in life, we’re called to embrace what God has given us. There’s a big difference between “wearing” something and “rocking” it. Wearing something is a have to. Rocking it implies an attitude of “holy cockiness”, that is boasting in Christ. It honors God when we pray – “help me wear and walk in my ‘platform’ shoes, with an attitude of thankfulness that I’ve got shoes at all.”
Get in the Game:
     Have you identified your platform? Are you using it for God’s glory? Will you stay miles away from the comparison game by letting Jeremy Lin be Jeremy Lin, Tim Tebow be Tim Tebow, and you be you – uniquely created and placed where you are by God to bring the gospel to believer and unbeliever alike as God directs?

     Put your platform shoes on. Don’t just wear them, rock ’em like you just sank a 3 pointer with .5 seconds left in the game for Team Jesus. And, as a special reminder, put on your Love Glasses – so you can see people as God sees them! (HT: Beckah Shae)