There are times in my life when I must remind myself that, not only am I a preacher, but I also am a follower of Christ, and so I must act accordingly. Coaching and being a parent of kids in Youth Baseball stretches this concept to its limit, at times. Last season and this, I have witnessed many unfair things being done, and then being told by those in a position to do something about it “that’s the breaks,” and then proceeding to watch these people in positions of authority abuse their power to the advantage of their kids/grandkids. I also know that, especially in sports, people (coaches and parents alike) do all they can to stretch rules to their limit, especially when it comes down to pressing their own team’s advantage. And so, I have to pray and remind myself “I represent Jesus, even in this circumstance.” These atmospheres bring out the worst in people, and, as an often unintended consequence, produce the worse in our youngsters. Lord willing, I am committed to not succumbing to this, and, if He allows, to produce in my own kids and the kids I coach a sense of doing what is right, even if everyone else is in the wrong. In this circumstance, I am going to trust that the Lord will win out, even if the games don’t go in my favor.
Life isn’t fair, and those who have no hope beyond this place play the game that way. They’re out for their advantage, and will do anything and everything to gain it. Yet I will praise God anyway. I will walk in integrity, and seek the Lord’s will, in spite of what everyone else around me is doing, and I will not laugh when my enemies falter and fail, and I will not press an advantage that will cause my gain; I will seek God’s will, and let Him be my advocate. I am trying to become like Christ, and He faced adversity like this too. The Religious of His day cared more for their position and image than they did pursuing righteousness and holiness. And so, as the world grows darker, I will continue to seek justice, love mercy, and do everything I can to walk humbly with the Lord my God, and as I do, try and take as many with me as I seek Christ as possible.
“With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."