Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one for the faith of the gospel. Philippians 1:27
This past weekend we went to visit Kelly and her family. On Saturday, we did what many parents and grandparents do across this land of ours – we went to see the boys play ball and we cheered them on!
Cole’s T-ball game was first and it was amazing to watch this little, fun loving guy become so serious about playing with his team. Miles’s baseball game followed, and he is definitely our sports fanatic. He loves any competition and especially enjoys facing the challenge of doing his very best and helping his teammates to do the same. They both love the opportunity to play and want to give it their all! And give it their all, they did! Even after colliding with another player, being really shaken up, and getting band-aids for his scrapes, Cole went back to the game and focused on the task at hand.
We loved watching not only our boys, but all the team members. They looked so cute and proud in their little uniforms! ( Our boys would not like hearing such comments!) All of them were so respectful to each other and really seemed to have fun being a team and working together for one purpose – to help each other play well. They encouraged each other – even members on the opposite team – and they listened carefully and obeyed all the coaches’ instructions. You could see they were already learning good sportsmanship as they praised each other’s efforts and graciously shook hands with their opponents at the end of the game . (And it was all in fun as they never keep score – although Miles does in his head!)
If only we adults could learn and practice the rules of “good sportsmanship” in this game of life. If only we could “conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
What a humbling thought – especially with all the dissension around us. But what is even more humbling is the thought that any of us could ever become worthy of deserving God’s love and goodness, and we certainly can’t ever be worthy of His saving grace. But we can always strive to be the best we can be for Him.
If only we could have the same attitude about life and each other as these young players did about their game. If only we could show respect and admiration for everyone around us, be more forgiving and not “keep score” of the wrongs against us, encourage and build each other up, and commit ourselves “to stand firm in one spirit” for one purpose – to love and serve Christ.
If we could only appreciate each day we have been given, find joy in the little things, and utilize the strength and courage God gives us in the face of fear and insecurity. If we could get right back “into the game” once we are “knocked down” by the painful struggles of life and move forward with faith and devotion. And if we also could proudly and boldly wear the name of Christ and remain faithful and dedicated to His calling on our lives. For we too have a loving “coach” who longs to give us His guidance and direction to help us be all we can be. How grateful we can be that He will guide us as we “finish the game” in this life and reach our eternal home with Him.
We will never be worthy of His love and grace, but we can strive to become more of the righteous, loving, merciful, and compassionate individuals God desires us to be. May He show us the way.
Our most gracious and loving Lord, we thank you for the blessings of life and for your saving grace. May we look to you to help us become the individuals you would have us be and to always seek your guidance and direction in all we do. Amen