I love baseball. I love the smells of a freshly oiled glove, the grass of the outfield, and the dirt as it flies around you after a good slide. I love the individuality of the game, surrounded by the team. It’s individual because it is the batter and the pitcher. To the two of them it is like they are the only ones on the field. It is also a team; there are eight others surrounding them; all players who will have an impact on the outcome of the individual battle of hitter vs. pitcher.
I enjoy all stages of baseball. I enjoy watching the little guys play coach pitch or T-ball, and I enjoy watching the big guys play on the grand stage.
Once while attending a Little League game, I witnessed a boy in the dugout with crutches and a cast on his leg. He had broken his leg in an accident unrelated to baseball. His mother told me the accident occurred the day after the first game, and he wouldn’t be playing for the rest of the season. However, he attends every game and sits in the dugout.
The boy would cheer for his teammates and offer encouragement to those that didn’t do so well. Even with a highly diminished role this young man was committed to his team.
Whether you are the one that hits the game-winning home run, or the second baseman that catches a routine pop-up, or the injured kid on the bench cheering, you are a vital member of the team. All three of these have different roles, and all three have committed themselves to the team.
People are committed to all sorts of things, just as the boys in the story are committed to their team. People are committed to their families, their jobs, issues that for one reason or another they feel strongly about. The list is endless.
There is a trend among many Christians today. There is a lack of commitment to the church.
Many Christians have a commitment to the church at about the same level as most people do to the movies.
Please let me explain.
People will go to the movies when they have time. People will attend the cinema whey they think they may like the main event. People will go to the theater for entertainment. Most people have one movie theater they may like more than others, but it doesn’t really matter which one they attend.
People like going to the movies, they will go from time to time, some more than others, but in general people are not committed to the movies. It is something they will work into their schedules from time to time, but it is not high on the list of priorities.
This level of commitment is the same many Christians have toward the church. They will go when they have the time or when the topic of the sermon is of interest. They will attend to be entertained by the music and many, while having a favorite, will hop from one church to the other; whatever suiting their fancy.
Christ “gave himself” for the church (Ephesians 5:25) and many Christians will even go the extent of avoiding church because they do not want to appear religious. (Side note: God does want us to be religious James 1:26-27).
Christ tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrew 10:25).
Jesus gave himself for the church, and He tells us to be there if at all possible. It sounds as if He wants us to have a commitment.
A 12-year-old boy with a broken leg offers nothing to the team on the field. But he can cheer them from the dugout. He can encourage his teammate that has just struck out.
You may not have the ability to preach a sermon or sing a solo, or sit on a church board, but you can pray for those that do. As a Christian, you have access to the throne of God through prayer (Hebrews 4:16). You may not be on a church’s counseling staff, but you can put your arm around someone and give encouragement to those who are hurting.
If you are a Christian, you are on God’s team, and He wants your commitment. If you can’t be on the field, He would still like you in the dugout whenever a game is on the schedule.