C.J. McCollum, before he was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers, wrote a column for Sports Illustrated describing the process of being interviewed by a number of NBA teams. At the end of his piece, he wrote this:
Last month I landed in Portland to meet with the Trail Blazers. As soon as I got off the plane, some people outside the gate asked for my autograph. My first thought was, Wow, this is cool. My next was, How did they know this was my flight? Then I wondered: The plane was three hours late – how long have these people been waiting?
Getting that kind of attention is a great feeling, but it reminded me how things change once you even get close to the NBA. You’re a public figure, and you won’t be getting paid to just run fast and jump high and score points. You’re representing the team that picks you. I’m ready to get it all started.
As Christians, you and I represent “the team that picked us.” We represent God and His kingdom, and we should strive to do it well. Jesus told His disciples, “but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Paul taught the Philippian church to “do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life” (1:14-16a). Jesus said to His disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). (All emphasis added by me.)
We represent the Triune God and His kingdom to the world. God is watching us, but so are the people around us. I think we forget that sometimes. C.J. McCollum is ready to represent the Trail Blazers (and from everything I’ve heard and read, it looks like he’ll do a good job of it), are we ready to represent the Lord?
We live coram Deo (before the face of God) with others watching.