I’m working on listening to more godly radio stations in the morning as I travel to work. I can’t front; it’s a struggle. On most mornings I usually listen to Mike & Mike. It’s not the best sports talkshow, but it’s the only one I can get clearly on the radio. Maybe that’s a sign???
On Tuesday mornings, the Mikes normally have former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter on their show. As I was listening to him this particular Tuesday, he and Mike Greenberg were discussing Cam Newton. The overall subject matter was Newton’s focus, desires, and abilities. I’m not here to debate any of that. What I am here to do is home in on a statement Carter made.
As Carter and Greenberg, and to a lesser extent, Golic debated back and forth, Cris Carter brought up Larry Fitzgerald as a contrast to Cam Newton. He said that Cam may not yet get that honing his craft will bring rewards later. Carter mentioned that, as an advisor to Fitzgerald, he used to tell him, “mature your skills and everything else will take care of itself”.
We can see that Fitzgerald has taken those words to heart. He’s one of the top 5 receivers in the league. He’s also one of the more recognizable players off the field. Newton is as well, but that seems to be by initial design. He is only in his second year, but he is one of the faces of the league. Whether he hones his skills to be to quarterbacking what Fitzgerald is to receiving remains to be seen. What we don’t have to wait for is the lesson in Cris Carter’s words.
“Mature your skills, and the rest will take care of itself” sounds similar to a verse in the passage of Matthew 6:25-34, particularly verse 33. Verse 33 says seek first the Kingdom of God, and all the rest will be added to you. When people quote this verse, it’s many times taken out of context. They use it as an assurance of God’s blessings, which it is. But, it’s not for material gain. It’s important to look at the whole passage to get the proper context.
The surrounding verses speak about why we shouldn’t be anxious for anything. They state how, if God will take care of animals, He’ll take care of us as well. Our job is to seek Him. We seek God by following His precepts, by loving one another with the love of Christ, by paying attention to the leanings of the Holy Spirit. These types of actions should be our focus.
Society has twisted the intent of the verse. It’s not about how we’re to behave anymore. The focus now is on what we can get.
So no, I’m not surprised by the outward appearances and assumptions made about Cam Newton. Perhaps he is more focused on attaining riches before his means of getting them is assured. Wait. Let that marinate… Done?
We also don’t know for sure how Larry Fitzgerald feels about how he has handled his career. Does he feel secure and satisfied with it? Does he feel like the things he desired have been added to him?
What we can do is look at both Cam and Larry as examples of the spiritual realities that exist. Seek to please self, or seek to please God. The choice is ours.