If you had told me eighteen months ago that England would be first because they won the rugby world championships against the reigning team, I would have wondered what kind of medication you had taken. We knew that the coaches were saying the right words but nobody, the press, loyal fans, or subject matter experts, were predicting that this would come to pass. Yet it has. I wonder if there are other areas where most of us have no idea where we really stand as we anticipate the future.
Early indicators are just that, indicators. Leading indicators in sports include the age of the team, how well they are playing, a judgment on the talent that has yet to show itself, the maturity of the players to respond under pressure, and the ability of the team to actually work together. In and of themselves the indicators have little relevance outside of speculation. People just don’t know! While supporters want to believe, lingering doubts continue. Any sport carries variations of this analysis. The process goes beyond sport and spills out into how we look at companies, organizations, and even individuals.
I don’t think it ends with people. I see the process extending itself into our belief systems and even to our concepts of Divinity. We are looking for leading indicators that God is superior to others gods. We want to believe that if we are going to commit ourselves we are committing to a winning God. Our self orientation doesn’t stop with ourselves, we want the big prize!
Joel gives us a leading indicator; “the sun turning black and the moon blood-red, before the Judgment Day of God, the Day tremendous and awesome.” (Joel 2.31) We can dispute the timing, extent, and awareness but what is crucial is that we not stop with this indicator. Take a look at the complete God package. Evaluate how powerful mercy, acceptance, and love actually are. Experience what a relationship with God can be like. Anticipate a world where love, mercy, and community reign. Then anticipate and choose; God or I.