A couple of weeks ago began another year of the great American past time of baseball. Players have finished training camp and have polished their skills in hopes of making it to the World Series in the fall. Over the past few years major league baseball has taken one on the chin because of the steroid use controversy surrounding Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Jason Giambi, Jose Conseco and Barry Bonds. Still, all across America little boys will be suiting up in Little League’s all across our land in hopes of making it to the majors. Baseball is still America’s sport and regardless of what has happened in the past, the very large majority of players are those who love the game and are purists and want to do what is right.
As a boy and through my younger years I pulled for the Cincinnati Reds. I grew up in the golden years of the Reds when Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, and the rest of the Reds were winning World Series. Today the names are not as recognizable, but I still have a place for them in my heart. Living in Cleveland the past 14 years has led me to become an Indians fan. Since being here they have almost made it twice but fell short in the AL finals. I have almost as much Indians apparel than I have of University of TN apparel.
As major league players begin their training for a run at the World Series, it takes hard work and discipline to make that happen. I have never played major league baseball, but I do know that as a human and a Christian it takes training and discipline to succeed in my life. I want to list five key elements it takes for us to run our race well.
- Get prepared: If you are going to run the race of life, you need to prepare yourself for the test. You are going to have to prepare yourself spiritually, mentally, and emotionally for what lies ahead. The only way you can do this is to look to the one who made you be all that you can be – God.
- Get focused: This might be considered preparation, but it needs it’s own attention. When we are unfocused we cannot see clearly and when we cannot see clearly we go in the wrong direction. Focus on what lies ahead, but focus on what makes you who you are.
- Get going: If you are going to do anything you have to take the first step to be successful, whether as a Christian, a husband, a father, in sports, or in business.
- Keep moving: Once you take the steps necessary, keep the momentum rolling. Don’t stop! Here are some wise words from a man who was a mover and shaker, “I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” Philippians 3:15 NLT.
- Get energized: When ball players run onto the field, they are ready to play the game. They have the adrenaline flowing and they want to play. As a Christ follower, we should be the same way. We must want to get out on the field to play the game, to run the race. Anything less is failure.
“Therefore… let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 NLT.