Tuesday, August 30

My Son the Athlete

Read Hebrews 12:1-13

My son is six and he gets all his athletic ability from his mother. He is literally the one picking daisies in the outfield. The crowd of tee ball parents watched him one day pretend to catch the ball. It came right to him, but he missed. Not in his imagination though. In his world it landed perfectly in his glove and the crowd went wild. He didn’t notice the dog pile of kids sprawled at his feet fighting over the loose ball. He was poetry in motion.

Last night, he and a friend were playing some sort of hybrid tennis/badminton/baseball game. I watch his flailing limbs and spasmic attempts to hit the ball with a smile. Love that kid.

He came running up to me and said “Mom! Every time the ball comes to me, I either hit it, or I miss it. Every. Time. I am SO good at this game!”

His assessment of his abilities humored me no end, but as I thought about his perspective this morning, I realized…

The point of the game was not (to him) about hitting or missing, it was about playing for all he was worth. With every ounce of energy, with every drop of concentration, he played. He played until sweat poured off his forehead, he laughed until he couldn’t stand up, he swung so hard he fell over, he cheered for himself and for his friend.

In our pursuit for Christ-likeness, we will hit the ball or we will miss it. Every time. But only if we play hard. We must be IN the game, focused, intense, joyful, hot and sweaty.

Despite what some might see as failure, we must press on. They say if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. While I appreciate the perfect score, we’ve got to aim at something. Sometimes, maybe more often than not, we will fall short of our goal. But sometimes we will score big time.

And it will be awesome.

We will be SO good at the game, as long as we are invested in it.

Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, 
let us throw off everything that hinders...

Everything includes things like fear of failure, the tendency to procrastinate, and plain old daily obstacles. When we focus on those things that get in our way, we set ourselves up for the "why bother?" attitude that begins the end of the best laid plans.

...and run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

The dictionary definition of that pesky word perseverance is "steady persistence in a course of action or resolute and unyielding holding on in following a course of action." The word that sticks out to me in the definition is ACTION. We cannot persevere, if we do not first act.

Set spiritual goals. If you don’t set them, you will have no reason at all to get out of bed. Maybe you’re goal is to get up at 5am for Bible reading and prayer every single day of the week. Maybe you make it out of bed Monday and fall asleep reading the book of Job. You have two choices. Feel defeated because the Holy Word of God put you to sleep, or celebrate because you made it out of bed and tomorrow you get another chance.

Consider your perspective today. Are you all in? Because if you are, you’re either hitting or missing.

Every time.

If you're not all in, you're missing out. Every time.

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