Monday, November 10, 2014

Meeting Saban

To fully understand the importance of this post, you must know that we live in Alabama.  The Alabama of the University of Alabama.  As in football.

In our state, football is big.  In the last five years an Alabama team (either Alabama or Auburn) has won four of the National Football Championship titles, with Alabama winning it three of those years.  (Just as a note, a southern team has won this championship every year since 2005.  What is it with those southern boys and football?)

This is perhaps one reason why it was so special for us to meet Saban.

We were walking through Washington Square in our city, a beautiful park in the historic, garden district near downtown when we saw him.  He was absolutely handsome. . .not a hair out of place, athletic and graceful.  He came over to us right away and was friendly, gregarious and full of energy. Those with him did the honors of introduction and we were immediately impressed with every aspect of his visage and carriage.

I guess I should explain that this Saban was a black lab.

His owner (wearing the appropriate Alabama hat and shirt) was walking with him through the park.  As Saban bounded over to us, we asked his name.  When his owner told us his name was "Saban" we both just laughed at the appropriateness of that name in this state.  We enjoyed petting Saban and chatting with his owner before we continued our walk.

In our state, any mention of the name "Saban" brings an image of a man whose passion is coaching football and helping to shape the lives of young men.  To many in this state, there is no other Sabin.

Conversely, to those we encounter in our lives, the name "God" conjures up many different images.  While we may clearly be speaking of the God of the Bible, but "God" to them may mean Buddha, Allah, or even a vague ethereal force existing in the universe.

The Bible tells us, however, that "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved," (Acts 4:12.)

The idea that there are many roads to God is one created by those who seek an easy way, a way apart from the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and of His Son. 

It is also untrue.  The Lord Himself told us :

"I am the way, the truth, and the life: 
no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me,"  John 14:6.

While it is true that we met Saban that day in the park, we did not meet the Sabin that has earned the fame associated with that name.  While many use the name of "God" quite loosely, they may not be speaking of the God which framed the worlds and "upholds all things by the word of His power."

This should make us more careful to present the one, true God to our world and encourage others not to seek any way, but the One who is the only way, the truth and the Life.

UPDATE: The dog Saban may be spelled with an "i", but the man Saban likes his name spelled correctly!

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