Monday, April 14, 2008

Getting Stronger

Last Saturday our church gathered at a local park for a friendly game of softball. Such things seem easy at a distance, but after several times at bat and a few sprints across the field attempting to seize the ball and stop the progress of the runner around the bases, I was brought to the reality that I'm not as young as I used to be. As I walked away from the field, my legs and back aching, I pondered how easy such things used to be. As the years pass it will only get worse. But there is a glorious truth behind such melancholy thoughts. For the Christian, though our physical body grows weaker and weaker, our spiritual strength and vitality should only be getting stronger. If growing old means growing closer to Christ old age is to be considered a glorious thing. We are aching to see Christ face to face. Although this mortal flesh is decaying before our very eyes, this frail body shall soon pass away to immortality. As Paul wrote, "we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon our house which is in heaven" (2 Cor. 5:2). Our daily prayer should be, "Lord, with each passing day, may I know you more and be conformed more and more to the image of Christ."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a fellow participant in the softball game, I was reminded of another important facet of the Christian life. I was reminded of the necessity for passing the baton of Scriptural truth to the next generation of Christians.

There were softball players of varied age groups participating in the game. One boy was as young as 4 years old. He was given particular attention by being allowed to hit and run the bases with out the consequence of getting out. This allowed his father and the rest of us to give him very specific, methodical, and step by step instructions for the rules of softball. Once he had a basic grasp of the rules, he was allowed to participate more freely in the natural flow of the game. In the military we used to call this the crawl, walk, run method of learning.

In a similar fashion, I was reminded of the believer's responsibility to pass the baton of Truth we so dearly treasure to the next generation. 2 Timothy 2:2 says, "The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." No child, including this one, would have instinctively known to swing only at strikes, or to run to first base upon contact with the ball, etc. The rules of softball have to be explained to them and then enforced by example; otherwise, like children do best they will make up their own rules.

Fortunately, we have the clear rules of Scripture for the Christian to abide by. These are the same rules that we are commanded in 2 Timothy to pass along to the next generation, so that they may continue to pass them along to the generation after them. Like teaching children how to play softball, it is best to train them how to rightly study and practice the Word of God at an early age before they start making up their own rules.

Isn't it amazing how the Lord can teach us so many eternal truths from something like a church softball game! By His enabling grace we can learn invaluable truths that can be dangerously effective for the furthering of the Kingdom of God, even in such a seemingly inconspicuous event like this one.