Recently, Sue and I attended a Houston Astros baseball game at Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston. Every time I go there, I am amazed at the construction of the stadium. Of course, the real attraction is the team. We watched these fit and conditioned young men warm up. They practiced hitting the ball, and throwing it to teammates. In batting practice, several kept hitting the ball out of the park. One player could throw the ball from one side of the outfield all the way to the fence on the other side. It seemed so easy for those men to run around and hit the ball. What fun. They get to play ball, chew and spit in the dugout, and get paid millions of dollars. Sign me up!
UGH! But then I read a story about what a player has to do to remain in prime condition. First, they must be the best of the best athletes with a strong work ethic. They have to watch their diet and remain lean with a body fat of 8-9%. They also have to be able to run 60 yards in seven seconds. Every day they work on their batting speed, striking power, and throwing velocity. All of this requires a comprehensive season-long training program.
As I sit in the stands, the ball players are only a few feet from me. But really, they are a million miles from the condition I am in! Sure, I can yell at them for striking out or committing an error on a lined drive, but they are light years ahead of me in skill, talent, and training. If they handed me a bat, and said take a few swings, I would look like a fool out there compared to their newest rookie.
Actually, there is a big difference between a spectator and a participant. Those who do, practice and rehearse their skill. Those who watch, eat nachos and corny dogs with relish. It’s the same wherever you work. From the outside, your job may not seem like it is all that complicated. But, the new guy in the office makes many mistakes. It will take years for the rookie to grasp the job like a veteran. There is always more to a job than meets the eye.
It is the same with the Christian life. Successful Believers practice and rehearse. They practice living a holy life. They rehearse the admonitions from the Scriptures so that they continually live in obedience and service to the Lord. Their spiritual life must continually be in a comprehensive life-long training program. In the life of the Christian, there are no spectators. You either get in the game or wash out.
Jesus said, “Anyone who isn't with me opposes me, and anyone who isn't working with me is actually working against me.” (Matthew 12:30 NIV) Christianity is NOT a spectator sport. Think it over.