Monday, October 19, 2009
Get in the Game
I played softball a lot growing up. A lot. Like every weekend, or almost every weekend for most of my teen years and even into my college days at Pacific Lutheran University. I played on some pretty good teams. My summer league team in ninth grade took 6th (I think) in the national tournament we played in. My high school team went to the playoffs every year and took fourth (I think) my senior year. I personally won a couple of awards during my years playing and even played a year in college for a perennial national championship competitive team.
As you can imagine, playing a sport at this caliber required a lot of physical effort, a lot of mental preparation and even some emotional transformation. I was a lean, mean, softball machine. I ran, I threw, I hit, and I learned the game. I was a softball warrior. I had been trained and transformed from an every-day girl into a competitive flinty-eyed "baller." I lterally gave my life over to my coaches, followed their instructions and allowed them to transform me into this new person.
Are you getting a mental picture here?
Wouldn't it, then have been foolish of me, after all of this work, after all of this training, and after all of this transformation for me to say "No" to the coach if he asked me to play in the game? What was all of that for if not for game-time? How stupid would it have been of me to go through all of the only to chose to sit on the bench during game time? I think, rightly so, you'd call me foolish!
Yet, isn't that what so many of us are doing?
How can I be radically changed and transformed by the power of Christ, how can I be set free from the bondage of sin, become a new creation and say "No" to the Lord when He asks me to get in the game? What is the point of all of the training and restoration if not to DO SOMETHING with it? What was all of that effort and time for if not for game-time?
I see it time and time again. Our pews have become our softball benches and by and large the bride of Christ is a bench warmer! How can this be? How can we really and truly claim to be transformed and then when called on to action just sit there? Sunday mornings don't cut it any more. There is a whole world out there dying. Can we hear them? Do we see the signs? Do we understand the times we live in? Yet we sit in our comfortable little buildings protecting our precious time and energy claiming to be doing something by just showing up for a service once a week. Poppycock I say.
Our lives were meant to be in the game. In the game! Let's get in and make some plays. The final score is already settled...and we have a chance to be a part of that. What a precious gift that is.