Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Free Agents

I was passing a student in the hall the other day and heard him complaining that BYU was taking away his agency. Since we were passing, I didn't hear what precipitated that comment or what followed, but it is a complaint I've heard a lot and I'm sure you have also. As a matter of fact, most of us have thought similar things.

But when we understand agency, we realize that the problem isn't with BYU or the Church or our parents or anyone or anything outside ourselves. The problem is that we don't understand.

A sports metaphor is the best way to explain. When a basketball player is not under contract to any team, he is called a free agent.  He has his agency and can decide to accept or reject any contract offered him. But let's say he signs a contract with the Jazz. Now he is no longer a free agent. He is an agent for the Jazz. This means that he can't suddenly say to himself, "I don't like shooting at that Jazz basket on the south end of the court. The fans down their are distracting me so I can't do my best, and besides I just like going north. I have my agency so I'm going to shoot at the north basket." 
A basketball player understand agency or he doesn't play ball. 

Likewise, we are free agent, but the moment we enter a covenant with the Lord through baptism we are no longer our own agents. We are His. We have entered a "contract" with the Lord that we will serve Him and do His work. We are on His team and are no longer free agents.

What the student didn't understand is that no one can take away our agency, and that once we have used our agency and agreed to a contract or made a covenants or any other agreement with a university or a company or a church that we will obey their rules, we are now their agents and our integrity requires that we either do what we have promised to do or break our covenant.

Thus those of us who are baptized should consider ourselves agents of the Lord.

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