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Baseball Ready Heading to The Show
Take Me Out To The Ballgame
Close your eyes imagining a crisp summer night in a baseball stadium quickly filling with excitement. Kids waiting with bated breath, glove in hand, hoping their's will be the single glove among many to catch the infamous home run. Pubescent teens are buzzing with tinseled smiles that sparkle in the fluorescent glow. In a parade of attempted uniqueness, they display their style of casually put together outfits while anxiously awaiting peer approval. Strategically they begin to sneak away from the parental hover, determined to set themselves apart with a swagger all their own. Slowly they set out to explore with a sauntering walk around the magnificent ballpark. The observing parents sadly take in this parade, as their young are on the cusp of independence. The mommies and daddies are realizing the separation ahead of them, in their soon to be young adulthood.
Parents are taking in the ambiance of the entire scenario. They are comforted knowing they can feel safe allowing this little bit of freedom, as they know their teens will be taking practice flights from the nest very soon. The younger ones are frolicking about, eyes wide open with a curiosity scanning the bright lights and listening to the new noises they are experiencing. Their innocence is obvious as they giggle and make best friends with anyone near to their size. There is so much stimulation that they're constantly amused and somewhat confined to a smaller area as they take it all in. Meanwhile the young adults, as well as the seasoned couples, are enjoying old traditions.
The luminous ballpark grants couples that date night feel while at the same time keeping a watchful eye on the kiddos. Everything about the park eludes the stresses of life and places a protective dome over them away from the day-to-day hassles. In the blissful hours that followed they enter a bit of a dream-like state and all is well. During the game, they begin to create new memories of ballpark cuisine, family laughter, rooting for the home team and just plain fun. During the customary baseball game, one is mindful of the older couples and workers that have modeled the respect for blessing our flag, enjoying a good ole hot dog or pop and most importantly the fellowship of sharing time together.
Summertime and baseball at Coca-Cola Park, that’s what I’m talkin’ about, that’s right, the home of the triple AAA feed team for the Philadelphia Phillie's, none other than the IRON PIGS. The small towns surrounding the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania area could not be prouder to share a cool summer night with their beloved team. The idea of the win, of course, is always present but just being a part of the community experience is one that leaves you feeling like you were part of something “BIG” together.
One can't help but be excited as you walk around a big stadium hand in hand with a long time love. At first, you may feel a bit sad at the massive amounts of people pushing in line to get their share of beer before the first pitch. The sloppy aggressiveness is notable in some areas. I suppose you could say some show signs of having been there awhile and their patience is running a little thin. At the same time as you witnessed this debacle a sad feeling could try to take hold, but you won't let it. You search for the positive and suddenly you hear stadium speakers playing a good old Christian song and it gives you hope. You can then turn from the little distraction and continue your walk singing along loud and proud filling your heart with the spirit of the game. Returning your thoughts to the wholesome family atmosphere.
This writing is not about the perils of alcohol, rather it speaks to the moment of experience in a particular scene. It's not our job to judge or condemn anyone. it's not the sampling of a beverage that was an issue, but rather the lack of control with its use. Some partaking of the libations had little understanding of how they were clouding their experience covering it up in some small way.
It wasn't the dad having one beer after a long day that bothers one as much though you have to wish the need not be so great. The sadness comes when observing the many that feel it necessary to overindulge and make their night a bit more of a nightmare as opposed to the dream it could've been. Now not to preach on the soapbox of thou shall not… It just gives awareness to the fact that as the night continued many had a beautiful and wonderful memory while others were seen arguing in the parking lot on the way to their cars and in these cases it was most assuredly due to a few too many.
This scene makes you want to fill them at that moment with the joy of the Holy Spirit. To have them “ taste and see the goodness of the Lord.” Wishing them to know, He is their supplier and comforter and that with Him they can do all things, even settle a silly squabble that is heightened due to substance. It gives way to emotions of wanting for them to get home safely and go to sleep before they make their relaxing night out, one they would surely regret.
I have so many people ask why church and why go?
Why do you believe in God when bad things happen to you and so many others?
Why do you think we need to talk to God and all that?
I wish I was eloquent in answering all the questions, but I don’t claim to have all the answers, so I’ll say this. I know our God is an awesome God. I know that when I trust and go to Him I can do all things through Him as my coach. I know the closer I get to Him the more attacks I can expect and this is my opportunity to show the armor He gives protecting me in all circumstances. I know I am good and bad, and I am to love as I am loved. I know that a church is a place to come and hear the word of God and be fed by His teachings. I know God does not turn away from those who seek Him and I should always seek Him first. I know I will struggle but His coaching is strong as well as firm and He will hold me up. I know I will not judge others for I am only sanctified by His grace and it is imperative to not be self-righteous and to show the grace that is given me. Not only to those I am in favor with.
I would tell them when you find a Christian that is so in love with God that they want only to share Him and learn more about how you can share Him together, and with others. That is a good place to spend some of your time. Making sure you don’t get stuck in your boxes or your stadiums, only using them to train to play fair ball on all fields. Baseball can be played anywhere and God’s team plays everywhere constantly seeking new players. After playing a bit, then you go out and bring others to learn from His playbook. There is only one playbook people, no matter which stadium you play at. Sadly once we leave our stadiums it is sometimes hard to see whose team we're on. Even without a little of the so-called happy juice you can see people bickering or arguing on the way to their cars. How about showing a little bit of grace, for there but by the grace of God… Meaning, be slow to judge. You never know when you may be condemned for a lack of the grace you failed to show others. We are all works in progress.
Food For Thought
Think about your church as a place to bring people where we put a protective covering on them for a few hours. Allow them to experience a love so unconditional that they can learn and grow in Him. Worry not about their faults, for your own will bite you in the butt soon enough. Remember the attacking team is so busy working on what He is building. The attacker wants the team you’re on to fight amongst one another. He wants for you not to show grace. He wants you not to forgive and start fresh in God’s playbook each day. He wants to shut you down and steal your bases. He wants division amongst your leagues rather than teamwork. He wants you to shame and blame and mess up losing your focus and losing the heart of your team.
Help to be part of the building of His team wherever you are. Make all that come to you feel a part of the community, part of the experience, one that they want over and over again throughout their day. We should be able to have all teams in His House and share in the experience of His coaching. We should have our games sold out where there is no room in the stadiums and we need to build up other teams. We are the team of Christ, it's not about the uniform you're wearing or the stadium you're in, it’s about sharing Him together. Allowing people to come and get some batting practice before you expect them to hit a home run. In this game the coach is the most important, it’s all about Him. Help them to know that hanging out with God is way bigger than any ball game they’ve ever been to. It is the “Best game ever,” let them know He wants them on His team. Most importantly remember He wants us all to come from our minor leagues and one-day come to the show. Stop wasting yourself with the tearing down of one another as Christians and start building a team worthy of a World Series, with lots of followers, His team.
So let us play and pray, He will take care of the rest ~ See You At The Show Peace In Your Stages
© 2013 The Stages Of ME