Long ago, the perfect football players were created. They were made with innate knowledge of the game. Some were born to be pass rushers with superior strength and size. Others had natural speed, quickness, and agility – the backs. The receivers were not only big and fast, but could effortlessly pluck a football out of the air with one hand… always in stride. The quarterbacks were born leaders with amazing arm strength and pinpoint accuracy.
The games were played every Friday and they were epic battles. No coaches were necessary because each player precisely understood his position and was perfectly formed to fulfill his role. They knew no fear, never got tired, never got hurt. Watching the games was a transformative experience. It was a special event to witness men made for a specific purpose perfectly fulfilling that purpose.
Then it all changed. One player took an unnatural interest in dresses. He was clearly not a dress-maker; he was a football player. He knew only football, but burned with a desire to make dresses. He spent all his free time at fabric stores, buying patterns, comparing prints. He started sewing his own dresses. The public was interested. The media was intrigued – this was news. He was offered a fashion show… on a Friday. The born football player elected to forgo the game in order to show his dresses. Naturally he made a splash.
The flood gates opened. Football players flocked to the dress-making industry. Dresses consumed them. Some still played on Friday nights, but it was no longer their passion. Over time, they simply forgot how to play. Injuries and corruption became common. Many chose not to play at all.
When the game was nearly dead, a new player was sent. He was the model for the original mold – speed, strength, size, agility. He showed how the game was supposed to be played. He inspired those around him. They remembered their nature and their bodies responded. Dress shops closed. Friday fashion shows were interrupted by walkouts of hulking designers, as if waking from a dream. The game had returned.
God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun. Romans 8 (The Message)