A lesson from the ball park

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)

Got home late from a baseball game. It started at 7 pm and did not end until after 12:30 am. Going into the ninth inning the home team was ahead 4 to 3. Then the opposing time got two runs top of the ninth. We had a come back run and it was tied and went into extra innings. At the end of the 12th inning it was still tied at 5 all. Back and forth it went with neither team able to score. Finally the valiant home team was able to get a runner on second and a sacrifice hit brought him home!

“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!” (verse 22, The Message)

The similarities between these verses and this evening’s baseball game seemed “a natural.” Each team practiced hard, listening to their coaches and learning how to best play the game. And during the game each team member accepted instructions and coaching from the managers, as well as listening to the umpires who regulated the game. And we as fans listened and watched the progress of the game, as well as adding our encouragements to the team we favored.

“Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.” (verses 23-24, The Message)

The fans and both teams endured two delays of game because of rain and it was cold! I am not sure whether it was the fans or the teams who showed the most grit and determination. It shows real dedication to stick it out and cheer for you team as enthusiastically after five hours as you did after two. And the determination of the two teams to see it through despite rain, delays and great hits never turning into runs is also extremely admirable. I am sure teams and fans alike, when looking in the mirror will remember who they are and what they accomplished.

“But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.” (verse 25, The Message)

I am sure they have been many metaphors and analogies between life and baseball, as well as analogies between life and other sports. And the perseverance that athletes show can also be seen in many Christians and the life of faith. Granted, in sports and in Christianity not every one is like the sterling examples of the excellence we were honored in seeing during this recent baseball game. And not every one in the Christian life and daily life shows the perseverance that we as fans showed.

May you gentle reader listen carefully to our God, following the instructions and lessons that are set out before you, acting and seeing yourselves as children of God. And may you find delight and affirmation following God with perseverance and dedication all of your days. Selah!