Here’s a sad truth: living your life, including your baseball life, in a way that pleases God doesn’t guarantee you’ll be in the Hall of Fame. We know that, but we don’t often believe it. Isn’t it true that many of us believe that God owes us special favors and extra talent because we live for him? Isn’t it true that we get sick and tired of people who don’t care about Jesus winning and beating us? Where’s the justice in that? It makes for a better story when the “good guys” win. Why doesn’t God make sure it happens?
Proverbs 23:17-18–“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the Lord always. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”
What do you do when you’re following God and life/baseball doesn’t go the way you want it to go? When you lose a big game? When you get cut from your team or organization? When a coach who berates his players and is a complete jerk beats you?
It’s tempting to say, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” It’s easy to figure that the only way to get what they have is to do what they do.
But, stop for a moment and consider what they have. Do those games won, those accolades, those records set mean anything to God? Do they change that guy’s status in eternity? Does that championship ring go with him into the next life?
Your future as a believer in Jesus may include a stint in the Big Leagues, a coaching Hall of Fame plaque to hang on your wall, or setting records never to be broken. And it might not. Either way, your real future (the one spoken of in Proverbs 23) is far beyond any of that. Your “hope” remains. Jesus lives. He is coming back. His promises are true. This is not your home, no matter how good or bad it may be for you.
So, play hard, coach well, set all the records you can. But, when someone else beats you, especially when they are an “awful sinner,” refuse to join them or to even let you mind consider doing so. Refuse to demand earthly rewards from God and instead praise him for the reward you’ll receive in heaven. It’s a daily choice, really. The expedient ways of this world or a life of faith and trust in your Lord.
Do you ever struggle with this? Leave a comment on the blog, Twitter, or Facebook. I’d love to have a conversation with you about it.