Saturday, December 01, 2012

Sitting on the Sidelines

By Brenda Boen
March 25, 2012

Recently I watched my grandson play baseball.  This was one of the first games of the season and his coaches had chosen to play an older team for a scrimmage.  These boys were taller, older and much more experienced at playing baseball.  They were very good at working together and throwing and catching the ball when needed.  They could hit the ball very well and actually where they intended it to go.  One boy was very good at bunting too.  They were also very aggressive in stealing base, which netted them several runs because the younger team made bad throws and were not as quick reacting.  When it was all said and done, the other team won 12 to 1.  I talked to my grandson after the game and pointed out all the things that the other team did and how they could learn from them.  When I asked him what he learned from that game he said “Don’t play with older kids!”  A somewhat wise remark but it got me to thinking about how we sometimes avoid things in life because they are too hard.

Life is like this.  We can sit on the sidelines and observe what to do and what not to do.  We can get in the game or sit and watch it from the stand.  I always used to tell my daughters that you don’t always have to experience things for yourself.  You can watch others make stupid mistakes and then just not do what they do.  You can observe how others live and pick up pointers in what is good and what is not.  And you can also sit on the sidelines and not participate in life at all thinking you will make mistakes.  Sometimes life involves risks.  Most are not life threatening or result in disaster.  Some things are actually good to experience.  Most are things we can experience and make a difference in our life or the lives of others.  And some things will teach us much needed life lessons.

Are you afraid to get in the game for fear of failing or making mistakes?  Do you prefer to sit by while life passes you by?  Or are you willing to get in the game of life and live even though it does sometimes take risks on your part?  Often times what we fear is the unknown.  Do we lay it all on the line and hope it doesn’t turn out bad?  Or do we just go for it praying for the best?  Or do we play it safe and just avoid it altogether?

What are some risky things in the Christian life for you?  Is it telling others about Jesus?  Are you afraid you are going to fail because you don’t know enough scripture or just the right words to say?  Are you afraid to commit to a ministry because you feel inadequate?  Are you afraid to play in the big league because others know more than you?  You know, God doesn’t call the qualified and the experienced.  He calls the willing.  When we step out in faith and do things for Him He will bless it and He will be with us through it. 

God tells us to have faith in Him.  He will not give us more than we can handle.  “I can do all things through Him who give me strength.”  Philippians 4:13  The power we receive in union with Christ is sufficient to do His will and to face the challenges that arise from our commitment to doing it.  So don’t be timid, God is your strength.  Rely on Him and have faith.  And get into the game!

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