Tired of Being Traded?
By Towera Nyirenda
- A lover of sports, I would rather all my favorite teams maintain the same players and draft the players I want. I cringe when talks on trading players surface. I want to be the President of Operations in those situations and keep all my players. Even the players who opt out of their contracts break my heart. In my mind, they are messing with my comfort. I love consistency.
However, such is not the case in the world of sports. It is expedient for teams to trade players to other teams to better their organization. It is also necessary in some cases for players to opt out of their contracts for the benefit of the team [not to suggest that the players traded nor those who opt out are not great players].
Coaches and managers, including the players know more than we do when it comes to such things. One reason however is obvious-these trades happen because the organizations want to win a championship. We the fans, on the other hand, can be short sighted on the reasons given, and we tend to get upset.
Please allow me to give a few examples of players traded and what the outcome was:
- Edgerrin James, former starting running back of the Indianapolis Colts and one of the best running backs in the American Football League was traded to the Arizona Cardinals. Predictions from critics/sports analysts: The Colts will have a hard time winning the Super Bowl. Result: The Colts won the Super Bowl one year later.
- Nomar Garcia Parra, a beloved baseball icon in Red Sox nation was traded to the Chicago Cubs in the spring of 2004. Predictions from critics/sports analysts: The Red Sox may have a hard time winning the World Series. Result: Red Sox won the World Series the same year of the trade having waited 86 years.
- Grant Hill, one of the greatest players in Pistons Basketball history was traded to the Orlando Magic in 2000. Predictions from critics/sports analysts: The Pistons will have a hard time winning the NBA Championship. Result: the Pistons won the NBA championship in 2004.
It should be noted that when the above players were traded, the teams had to replace them with other great players. The team’s loss, in the eyes of the media, was their gain because it gave the teams the opportunity to acquire other great players.
More examples can be given about trading players and players opting out, nonetheless, Mark Twain, an American humorist and writer once said, “What, then, is the true Gospel of consistency? Change. Who is the really consistent man? The man who changes. Since change is the law of his being, he cannot be consistent if he stuck in a rut.”
Trades, which are changes, are necessary in life, especially for Christians. God, the President of Operations in our lives, begins His trading transactions in one of the following areas, with the critics and analysts looking on, trying to predict the future:
A Trade in Location:
Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation…” (Gen. 12: 1 NASB)
Predictions From Family Members:
You are losing your mind-you do not even know where you are going. Are you sure God spoke to you?
“And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." (vs. 3)
Was it uncomfortable for Abram to be traded? Yes-However, the results outweighed the discomfort. We are blessed today because of his Trade. Where does God want to trade you?
A Trade in Thoughts:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12: 2)
Predictions from the World:
No one thinks like that…what planet do you come from?
“So that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (vs 3.)
God wants us to trade in our negative thoughts for His positive thoughts; our wrong perceptions of life, with His right perception of life; our wrong view of people with His right view of people. When our thoughts are changed to God’s thoughts, we begin to see God and understand His will. What thoughts do you have to opt out of or trade in for God’s thoughts?
A Trade in Purpose:
“…And He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.' " (Matt. 4:19 NASB)
Predictions from People:
How in the world will you make it without a paycheck?
"So then, those who had received his word (Peter) were baptized; and that day there were added about 3,000 souls." (Acts 2: 41 NASB)
I cannot begin to imagine what would have happened if the disciples opted to fish fish the rest of their lives. They had to trade in or opt out of their personal contracts of purpose to sign His contract of purpose. What purposes is God asking you to trade or opt out of for His?
Trades are never easy in sports. They can sometimes backfire on you. However, in God, there is no backfiring-unless we ourselves do so; He knows what He is doing even though we may be uncomfortable. Trades are necessary because they allow us to collaborate with God and His Kingdom. Let us not have an attitude that Richie Allen, one of the greatest baseball players had:
“I once loved this game, but after being traded four times, I realized that it's nothing but a business. I treat my horses better than the owners treat us. It's a shame they've destroyed my love for the game.”
God never trades us just for the sake of a business deal. He always treats us better. He trades us to collaborate with Him for souls, and for that, we ought to love the game of life. God never destroys our love for life, but fulfills it; therefore, it is worth it being traded by God.
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Towera Nyirenda is pursuing her Doctor of Ministry at Regent University. After she graduates in 2008 she intends to minister in her native Zambia.
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