Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. Isaiah 6:8 KJV
In a continuation of our week of a legacy of prayer we come to the prayer of commitment and a man named Reggie White. During his amazing, Reggie played first in Philadelphia and then with the Green Packers where he made the game ending sack against Brett Favre to win Superbowl XXXI in 1993. In 1998 he retired from football and went on to become an ordained minister. My wife and I were blessed to be able hear Reggie speak in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania in 2001, and the one thing I remember Reggie saying was, “When my kids look back, I hope they don’t just think about me as a football player. I want them to remember that I was a man of God.” Ironically, just three years later Reggie passed away from sleep-apnea, at the age of 43.
Just like Reggie White, we never know if the life we are living now may become the legacy that we leave behind. Isaiah was much like Reggie White. He was successful and had already been established as a respected Prophet to the king. But God had something far more controversial for Isaiah to do. When the king died, Isaiah had a vision where he saw the throne of God with all the angels worshipping, and Isaiah fell on his face in fear. Then he heard God’s voice asking, “Who will go?” In that moment Isaiah could have simply been silent, hoping someone besides him would raise his hand. Have you ever done that? Sadly, I confess that I have.
But real commitment meant leaving his comfortable and acceptable life and diving into the unknown. Isaiah could have let the risks outweigh the cost, but instead he said, “I will go!” He committed without knowing where he was going or even what he would be asked to do. He signed the blank check of his commitment and invited God to fill it in. We can be committed to things like fame and fortune, or we can spend piles of money trying to win people’s favor. What matters in the end is best summed up in a saying penned in the journal of missionary Jim Elliot not long before he was martyred. “Only one life, so soon it is past. Only what’s done for Christ will last!”