I have noticed that some preachers are fond of using sports metaphors in their sermons. I blame it all on the Apostle Paul who was apparently the first such preacher.
In my own metaphorical depiction of the traditional plan of salvation, I “see” an athletic event somewhat similar to that of Paul. In my analogy the redemptive process is a four man relay race. God starts off with the baton and then passes it to Jesus. Jesus flies through his lap and hands off to the preacher. The preacher struggles around the track and tries to give me the baton. Clumsily, I fumble and drop it several times before finally getting started. Then to conclude matters, I collapse from mental, physical, and spiritual exhaustion somewhere after the first turn. Meanwhile, the Devil’s team has lapped the field on the way to victory.
In relay races, I have generally seen the coach select the best runners to participate and then designate the absolute best to run the final lap. He is not likely to pick somebody out of the stands to carry the baton over the finish line. To do so would very likely lead to defeat.
In the extended metaphorical picture, this race is run over and over millions of times. Sometimes, by chance, the last runner is not a stumble bum like me. He actually was born fast and knows how to run well, so he wins. This doesn’t happen very often though.
When considering this sports metaphor, I have to ask: Could God be the originator of this game plan?