If you’ve been a fan of pretty much any ESPN radio show during the past decade, you likely know this week was a pretty special one for those folks.
For the past nine years the company has done some form of an auction to benefit “The V Foundation for Cancer Research,” which was founded by former basketball coach and broadcaster Jim Valvano who died in April of 1993 after a 10-month battle with bone cancer.
Because I’m a slight ESPN radio addict, especially in the mornings, I was of course tuned in this year to Mike and Mike In The Morning when this year’s auction began.
Among the many guests speaking about how cancer had affected their lives I heard something that really stuck with me. I believe it was Dick Vitale who said, what we’re doing today is going to save lives.
Now I’m sure I’ve heard him and others make similar declarations in the past, but this year the passion with which he said it struck me. It was so matter-of-fact, it was so clear he was sure what they were doing was making a difference and he had a certain level of justifiable pride in their collective effort.
I dare say that type of passion is at least in some way responsible for generating the type of success the auction has had over the years. That type of passion gets people excited and it makes them want to be apart of that life-saving effort.
Then I got to thinking about the things I do in my life.
Is what I doing going to save lives? And a better question: As a Christian, is what I’m doing going to save souls?
After I thought about it for a while, I realized that yeah, the overarching goal of a lot of things I’ve done and continue to do is to do just that — to save souls.
So why then don’t I approach these tasks with the same enthusiasm, certainty, and pride Dickie V approaches his work with? Why do I sell myself short like this?
Perhaps it’s just me, but I doubt it because a lot of times I don’t see that type of passion among other Christians either. A lot of times I don’t see the attitude that what we’re doing, be it a Sunday School lesson, folding church bulletins, writing a blog or simply talking with folks about Jesus, is a vital and important life-changing work.
Have we’ve embraced the idea of working quietly in the shadows a little too much? Have we bought into some lie that our work, saving souls by sharing Jesus’ love, isn’t on par with the many other great causes in our world? Or are we just fearful of coming across a little self-righteous by sharing how important we believe our work is?
I’m not sure. Heck, maybe it’s a combination of all three.
But I am sure that it is that type of passion which draws people in. It’s the type of certainty that attracts folks and stokes their curiosity. And it’s that type of pride in mission that makes people want to join a cause.
There’s a lot of great causes in this world, but as Christians, no matter how big or small the task, we’re working for the one at the top of the cause pyramid.
I think we’d be wise to never sell ourselves short by losing sight of this and instead, should have an obviously apparent pride in our work.
Because what we’re doing today is going to save souls.