They each had equal talent and equal opportunity. Their careers, however, went vastly different directions. One found his “fun” in following the crowd and his natural inclinations. The other decided his “fun” would be in walking a path of wisdom, on and off the field.

Proverbs 10:23 speaks of two such people–“Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool; and so is wisdom to a man of understanding.”

This is not about baseball, obviously, but it will be seen in the players we coach, the teammates we have, the sons we raise. There are really only two paths we can take: one that views doing whatever we want as best and most fulfilling; another that views doing what is wise in God’s eyes as best and ultimately soul-satisfying.

Here are the choices we make along the way…

Temporal vs. eternal.

Immediate vs. permanent.

Fun vs. joy.

Foolishness vs. wisdom.

In every decision we make, these things are involved. We are building our lives one decision at a time, just like a swing is built one rep at a time. Everything we do matters. Beliefs shape thoughts, which shape attitudes, which shape decisions, which shape actions, which shape our lives now and forever.

Here’s the thing, doing whatever comes naturally to our sinful selves provides a quicker, immediately more fun, payoff. And, slowly, we get lulled to sleep in our spirits, not seeing the long term–eternal–effects until it is too late.

God’s wisdom is different. It requires that we trust him, that we patiently wait for the payoff, which will be seen only later in the separation of ourselves from the fools who lived only for the moment.

As I tell players all the time, it’s fun to get better at baseball–that’s how to keep it fun…keep getting better. I believe life is the same way. Keep getting “better” by walking with Jesus. That’s how life, here and hereafter, are truly filled with joy.

Lord Jesus, replace my desire for temporary fun with a desire for the joy only you can bring. Amen.