Christians should be like Beast Mode


Written by Miles McPherson

The Oakland Raiders are “talking to a certain running back… He did not even play in the NFL last year. I’ll leave it there. Chew on that,” said Greg Papa on Thursday, March 16th on 95.7 The Game.

With that one tasty piece of insider gossip, the Raiders’ play-by-play announcer sent Raider Nation into a frenzy. Oakland, who won twelve games and made it to the playoffs last year, but lost Pro Bowl running back Latavius Murray to the Minnesota Vikings in free agency. Without him, they’re in need of a powerful back who can carry the rock 200+ times over the course of the season.

So the thought of bringing some mysterious, big-name running back out of retirement intrigued the fan base, as they began to desperately ponder the identify this future bell cow on Twitter. Some jokingly guessed Bo Jackson, Marcus Allen, and Napoleon Kaufman, former Raider greats who are all over age forty. Others more seriously considered guys like Ray Rice, Karlos Williams, Rashard Mendenhall, and Trent Richardson. But one name stood out above them all—a player so covered in mystique and intrigue that even the most unsubstantiated rumor of his interest in playing in the Bay Area could set the fan base off: Marshawn Lynch. Yes, “Beast Mode” himself.

He’s a skull-crushing, pain-inflicting running back who eats Skittles on the bench…

Think about that for a second. Lynch is from Oakland, and he, like the Raiders’ fan base, is eccentric and funky, but also nasty and mysterious. He’s a skull-crushing, pain-inflicting running back who eats Skittles on the bench and tours Houston, Scotland on a bike promoting the Super Bowl. Over the course of his career, he has amassed over 11,000 yards, scored 83 touchdowns, and been voted to 5 Pro Bowls.

The funny thing is, the Raiders have other options. Adrian Peterson is a free agent, as are Jamaal Charles and LeGarrette Blount, and the draft is full of talented runners like Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette, Joe Mixon, Alvin Kamara, and D’Onta Foreman. Plus, Lynch is still under contract with Seattle, so he’d either need to be released or traded before he could join the Silver and Black. So why is Raider Nation so excited about the prospect of luring Lynch out of retirement?

Well, because he brings something to the table that nobody else does. That it factor that sets Beast Mode apart was displayed best in an epic January playoff game against the New Orleans Saints, when he ripped off a 67-yard touchdown run where he broke nine tackles. Nine! He threw Tracy Porter to the ground with one hand! Fans were celebrating so wildly that the score registered on a seismograph. They call the play “Beastquake,” and if you haven’t already, you should watch the clip.

Lynch doesn’t just do the job of running back well. He also brings a swagger that none of the other free agent running back options offer. In a violent environment like football, Marshawn brings more to a club than just yardage, he brings intimidation and emotional momentum, and he provides an undeniable spark to those around him. Raider fans want Beast Mode because he’s more than a running back. He’s an icon of intensity, domination, and victory. He represents everything that football fans want to see in their football team.

In Matthew 5:13, Jesus called his followers the “salt of the earth.” Think about that for a second.

I love French fries, especially from In-N-Out. But, no matter how fresh the potatoes are, and how golden and crispy those fries are, they don’t taste even half as good if they aren’t salted. We are supposed to be like salt—desirable! That single ingredient that improves the quality of the whole! Just like the prospect of adding Beast Mode is appealing to Raiders fans, Christians should be desirable friends, family members, co-workers, bosses, and neighbors to non-Christians.

Take a look at your life and ask yourself, “Am I the kind of person that others want to be around and team up with?” If you have given your life to Christ, then the Bible says He lives inside you and is the “hope of glory” [Colossians 1:27].

Take it upon yourself to improve the life of someone around you today. Be the salt to somebody’s fries, the Beast Mode on someone’s football team!

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