There was a fascinating part of the Green Bay Packer game when they played the Seattle Seahawks on December 11th
. I’m not talking about the five interceptions, the explosive offense, or even the surprisingly dominant looking team. In the heat of the game, while quarterback Aaron Rodgers was on the field of play, the TV camera zoomed in on him and all the viewers at that moment watched Aaron break out into a great big yawn.
What??? For most of the people I come into contact with heading up to Lambeau field, they are beyond excited. They are grinning ear to ear, prepped for face paint, and ready for a Green Bay win. You wouldn’t expect to see them yawn their way to the event, through it, or even after it. Why would the star player then at the pinnacle of the game sport one?
Turn back the clock to 2010 during the Winter Olympics. Speed skater Apolo Ohno consistently yawned prior to his races. Like Aaron Rodgers, he was also captured on camera. If you had assumed that he was tired, unprepared, and approaching his races with a disinterested attitude, think again. When Ohno was asked why he did it, his theory was “that yawning helped him ‘get oxygen in, and the nerves out. To him, yawning prior to his races was the best preparation for his body. Another theory emphasizes it could also be help for the mind. Yawning cools the brain and allows us to be alert and ready to perform.
Could there be something like that already for the Christian! What if we could just open our souls wide open and breathe in the Bible? Then most certainly we could be alert and ready to daily serve God. What if in the heat of staring down Satan this year, or in the middle of witnessing to a neighbor or coworker, or in the middle of intense suffering we could just spiritually yawn and receive God’s strength and aptly face whatever was in front of us? What if we could lower the over reactive temperature towards the sin of others in our hearts and lives and more patiently and lovingly help with the truth?
Would you believe that that exists! It’s called church
, where we hear and grow in the Word. It’s called baptism
, where God calls us from the sleep of death to spiritual life in Christ. It’s called communion
where God pours his strength right into our soul. It’s called Bible study
, where we discuss daily situations and apply the Word directly to our souls. And all this is yours, by grace, again this next year. Through the means of grace God continues to prepare us for heaven and equip us for facing what life brings our way on earth.
The Bible doesn’t use the term yawn to refer to spirituality. It does use the vivid terms yearns, longs, and pants
.” Psalm 42:1 says, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Isaiah 26:9 adds, “My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you.”
As the body craves what it needs to survive and thrive, so does the soul. Give yours what it daily needs. Plan this next year so that you regularly fill it with everything Jesus has to give. Then you will be ready and alert in Christ to perform and serve to his glory.
A happy and blessed New Year to all of you!
Pastor Aaron Mueller