'You win some, you lose some." You've probably heard those words. No one likes to be a loser. In 1981 Pat Williams, then the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, found himself pleading with God to help his team win the Eastern Conference championship, in a game against the Boston Celtics. He says he heard God say to him, "Get a grip on yourself, Pat. I'll take care of the wins and the losses. You just be available to Me" (Pat Williams, Go for the Magic! [Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers, 1995], p. 227).
Well, the Sixers didn't win that game, although several years later they finally had a championship season. But Williams learned a lesson we all need to learn sooner or later-winning or losing at any given moment isn't the chief concern. But serving God, and having that as the motive for doing everything else, bring both progress and success. Maybe we won't win all the games in our lives or achieve all our goals. But we will have the happiness and achievement that come with living honest lives, acting intelligently, and being kind to others.
What does it mean to be available to God? Sometimes, if you feel pulled in all directions by demands and pressures, it already seems like there are more things to do than you can handle. Still, you can hear those words Pat Williams heard, ". . . just be available to Me." That's what we should really demand of ourselves.
This kind of availability does not say it's a good thing to excuse or skip out on legitimate demands. There will always be work to do. It's in proportion to expressing good qualities that reflect God's nature-qualities like honesty, obedience, orderliness, honest living, and constant love-that we are able to do all we need to do and do it successfully. No matter how many things you have to do in one day, still you can always be available to God and make sure He comes first.
It's possible to turn to God in making decisions, spending a few moments listening for what is best to do when you're under pressure. This is one way to be available to serve God. When you do this, you can be assured that you'll have all His support. He strengthens us in every decision to do the right thing.
If someone really wants to shine in this world, he or she can follow guidance found in the Bible, in Paul's words to the Philippians: "Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world" (2:14, 15). Doing that is being available to God. Anyone who follows this advice can't help but come out a winner.
Knowing that it is God who is working in us, with us, is what ensures success. In listening for God's direction, we can never lose our way or our awareness that we are good. Paul also said further on, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (4:13).
Even if you're pulled in ways that are not right, you have immediate support in going to God. If you sincerely want to do what is right (be available to God), He will give you the courage and the intelligence you need to follow Him.
Mary Baker Eddy, a follower of God, discovered Christian Science in 1866. It is an explanation of God's creation. It shows that there is no power besides God that can prevent anyone from successfully serving Him. God never made evil. God is total Truth. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, a book written by Mrs. Eddy, says, "Truth is always the victor" (p. 380). When you put being available to God first in your life, you're always on the winning side.
Jesus answered them,
saying ... If any man
serve me, let him follow me;
and where I am,
there shall also my servant be:
if any man serve me,
him will my Father honour.
John 12:23, 26