There are really two teams; The Lord's Side and Satan's. I believe that even those who don't believe in God are playing for one of two teams, they just don't realize it :) In general, all that is good is of God.
Some of us are ready for the challenge, while others of us are still seated in the stands, spectating. Nonetheless, we are rooting for someone; either God or Satan.
When I think about the choices in my life or the temptations I may face, it helps for me to think of it in this perspective. Some choices are choices between two goods. Neither one will cost the team, and both may have a positive outcome. Other choices are choices whether or not to give in to temptation. The temptation may be blatant, and yet the temptation may simply be a temptation not to do something I should be doing. Either way, if we give in to the worldly man, we have just enabled Satan's team a little more.
When I look at our youth today, it is evident that Satan has his grasp on so many of them. Not all, but many. Just because we are adults, does not mean we can escape from the plays that Satan is running against us. This is where the Lord needs every one of us on His side. He needs us to run interference against Satan. And, unlike Football, the Lord would rather have zero spectators if that meant every one of us were on the field, fighting in the battle for good vs. evil.
One example of this I can think of recently, is our early morning Scripture study. Do I think it is important for our family to read the scriptures together? Yes. Do I think it is beneficial for us to start off each day with them? Yes. In fact, I think it is imperative. However, last summer, kids stayed up late and slept in. When school started back up for them, it also started for me. My first semester back was a big adjustment. I had stressful days and stressful nights. It was all I could do to get up and get ready for my full time job on time, let alone scripture study. Therefore, our family scriptures fell to the way side. A few times I thought about trying to do it at night. But many times, I was still in the thick of a homework assignment, or the oldest would be at play practice till late. So, it never worked out. But then, I sort of had this epiphany... more like a daydream, if you will.
I was thinking one day, what if down the road, one, or two, or heaven forbid, all of my kids fall away from the gospel? What if I had to answer to the Lord. And what if the questioning went something like this:
God: Aren't your children important to you?
Me: Of course!
God: Didn't you want them to succeed?
God: Did you love them enough to want them to live the gospel?
Me: Without a shadow of a doubt!
God: Are you willing to do whatever it takes, to help save them?
God: Then why didn't you act like it when you had the chance -- when they were in your stewardship?
Me: ~dumbfounded pause~
I had that big "what if" moment and truly had to ask myself, am I doing all that *I* can to help my children run interference against Satan? Am I helping them put on the whole armor of God before they leave my house each morning? I couldn't answer that with the resounding "yes" that I so desperately wanted to. I knew that no matter what this semester, as much as I did not want to fail my classes, I did not want to fail my children.
We have been getting up each morning to read our scriptures. We each take turn reading 3 verses (so LittleDuckling doesn't fall asleep) and it actually takes a lot less time than I always think it's going to.
True, many nights I am still writing essays or reading for my own homework until well past midnight. Getting to bed between 1:30 and 3 seems to be normal for me. And true, when the alarm clock sounds a extra 30 minutes early, I want to shut it off and stay in the warmth of my covers in the comfort of my bed. However, there is one sentence I tell myself every morning that makes my decision that much easier.
Satan wants you to stay in bed.
When that alarm goes off, I say to myself, "I don't wanna get up right now." And usually, my next thought is, "and neither does Satan." It is at that moment, I know that I have to get up and get my children up. They are groggy. They are cold. They are sleepy. But we read and they do not complain.
And I know that as a mom, I still have so much more to improve on. I still have so much more to learn. But I want to be able to look my maker in the eye one day and say, "Lord, I tried." I want Him to know that I just didn't sit back and spectate, but that I took the risk of fumbling a few times. And though I didn't win every game, in the grand scheme of things, and in the big SuperBowl of Saints, I fought for the right side; the Lord's side.