At the University of the South there was once a legendary sports trainer who served the school’s football team for over forty years. At his retirement he was asked what he considered to be the team’s best season. “The team’s best season,” he replied, “is the one coming up.”
During the years of raising our children I would often seek my mother’s wise counsel when difficult parenting issues arose regarding one or the other of our two sons. After listening to me for a while she would always tell me the same thing. “Ah, he’s going to turn out fine. He’s a good boy.” She was right, of course; for today they are both fine responsible men with families of their own. But how did she know?
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” retells the biblical story about Joseph who because of the favoritism shown to him by their father was betrayed by his jealous brothers, only to rise up and become a powerful figure in the Egyptian kingdom who would one day rescue those same brothers from starvation. The brothers, as you can imagine, later feared retribution from their deceived younger brother, except he said this to them: “Don’t be afraid. . . .You meant to harm me, but God intended it for good.”
The legendary sports trainer was not necessarily predicting a winning season when he said “the team’s best season is the one coming up”. Nor was my mother’s remark, “ah, he’s going to turn out fine” meant to condone our children’s misbehavior or our parenting mistakes. Rather, both recognized, as Joseph did, that “God intended it for good” – that God can make good of anything; for indeed God does make good of EVERYTHING. God is good, as they say, all the time.
For that reason I’m certain that your best season ever is “the one coming up.” How do I know that? Because God intends it for good. My prayer for you is, may it be so.
Abundant Living will return January 3, 2011. Merry Christmas, and blessings to all!!