Ah, Saturday. The day when I shift gears and write about sports. As you can tell, today I’m discussing the return of Janzen Jackson to the University Tennessee and the football program.
Much has been made the issues surrounding Jackson. Let’s be honest. He has had a troubled time at UT. He was involved in the infamous Pilot holdup. He missed time last December prior to the Music City Bowl due to personal issues. Most recently, he missed the second semester due to dealing with these same issues. Several questions have to come to mind for Tennessee fans if we are going to be honest with ourselves.
The first one is if Derek Dooley would put up with this if Jackson was not among the best, if not the best, player on the team. Is Jackson getting special treatment. Would someone who can’t even make the depth chart be afforded these opportunities? I will give CDD the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Another question is if this is just a replay of the Fulmer years. One of the gripes of many of us was that Coach Fulmer was lack on discipline. Given what we’ve seen so far, I will again side with Coach Dooley. He has shown he can pull the trigger quickly. I’m going to believe that he has the best interests at heart for Jackson and has considered what he and the team needed in this situation.
The final question that has to be asked is what happens if Jackson faces any trouble from this point on through the end of the season. Presumably, this will be his final season before declaring for the NFL draft. Has he conquered his personal demons and will be able to stay out of trouble through December? Will Coach Dooley pull the trigger and end the relationship if trouble comes? The answer to these questions will linger the remainder of Jackson’s return.
Personally, I hope that Jackson has beaten all of the troubles that have beset him. Yes, I want this to happen for my Volunteers. However, I really want the best for Jackson and wish him to conquer what he has found himself a part of.
If you happened to watch College Football Live last Thursday, you might have seen Derek Dooley being interviewed. Since I was at work, I jumped on my handy-dandy smart phone, turned on my DirecTV app and set the DVR to record. Somehow that didn’t work, so my son happened to catch it and began recording for me.
The thing that stood out most in Dooley’s interview was what he said about developing his players. He said that it takes a “relentless pursuit of continuous improvement.” As a Tennessee fan, I certainly hope that there is this relentless pursuit throughout the remainder of the summer into fall camp and then each week as the season progresses.
The question we who follow Christ need to ask ourselves is if we share this relentless pursuit of continuous improvement in our life with Christ? I think Paul would call this sanctification. Sanctification is the part of salvation where we grow and mature throughout our Christian walk. It is necessary for Christ to work in us during our sanctification. But we can’t just sit on our laurels and expect it to just happen.
It takes the effort that we put forth to achieve it. It takes a relentless pursuit of continuous improvement. I don’t think many of us want to be the same as we were when we first came to know the Lord when we finally come to meet Him face to face.
I have been asking myself since last Thursday if I am pursuing Christ with a relentless pursuit of continuous improvement.
How about you?