Some of my fondest childhood memories are of playing little league baseball. I can still remember my first uniform. We didn’t have to play any games, I was happy enough with that orange hat and shirt. I remember my first catch during a game, and even my first hit. My mom and dad (especially my mom) would practice with me for hours every day.
Believe it or not, baseball can be a painful experience. I remember one particularly difficult week when I was eight years old. It seemed as if every time I came to bat, the pitcher would throw the ball AT ME, not to me, but AT ME! By the end of the week, I had a bloodied nose, two black eyes and a busted lip. I had been hit in the head, in the legs, in the arms, and even in the seat of my pants. I started getting anxious each time it became my turn to bat. Most kids begged the coach to let them hit at practice, but I begged the coach to let someone else hit. I had all kinds of excuses for letting someone else take my turn at batting practice. I even went for two weeks without coming to bat. As a matter of fact, I was so good at finding someone else to hit for me, that I had forgotten how to hit when it finally became my turn on game day.
Many of us deal with this problem in our spiritual lives. Jesus gave each and every Christian a job and a place on His team when He said “Go make disciples of all nations…and teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:16-20).” Churches have developed complicated boards and commissions to accomplish this task, and individual Christians have given of their time and money in order to obey Christ. Unfortunately, as time has passed some would rather give money than time. We seem to have entered a time in our lives when we would trust our obligations (spiritual and life) to “paid Christians.” We may even have had the good intentions of doing God’s work when we began waiting on others to fulfill our duties. But if we’re not careful we may find that we have become so good at doing things this way…that we may become good for nothing.