Any coach will tell you that good players become great because of their work when no one else is working. Rare is the player who doesn’t get his work in during practice. Most guys are going to work at least somewhat hard when the team and coaches are all watching. That’s not when a player makes it or breaks it, though. Guys who do the bare minimum never rise to greatness. They don’t. They never take full advantage of their God-given talent. In a sense, they’re asleep at the wheel, just taking up space, believing that the minimum, since it’s all that is technically required, is somehow honorable.

Proverbs 6:9 speaks to this. In the context of talking about the value and reward of hard work, the writer asks, “How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?”

There are some reading this who need to wake up in the game of baseball. You’re doing the minimum as a coach or as a player, failing to recognize your own laziness and apathy. What if you spent this season, maybe even for the first time, putting in extra work and giving greater focus to your craft and your contribution to the team? What if you really went after it in the weight room, not to appear simply to keep up, but to get your body’s weaknesses out of the way of your on-field performance? What if you found a new way to motivate players, instead of resorting to the age-old, but ineffective, practices of threatening and intimidating? What if you arose from your sleep and made this season different?

There are some, on the other hand, who need to wake up in life. You’re going through the motions, doing the bare minimum, confident that your supposed goodness as a person, or even as a Christian, are God’s ideals for you. Jesus put it differently, though. Whoever wants to gain life, to know what it’s really about, will give his life completely to Jesus. Let me encourage you not to sleep through life, even life as a professing believer in Christ. There is much more to Jesus, so much more, than what you’re discovering by sleeping through life. What if this season for you was also about letting Jesus live through you like never before? What if you died daily to yourself? What if you live in and by the grace of God in your identity, relationships, and responsibilities?

Lord Jesus, wake me up, on and off the field. Amen.