My youngest son was trying out for the school baseball team last week. Each day players were cut as the coaches tried to build their team. On Wednesday, Sam got into the car after practice and I could tell he was becoming pretty anxious. “Well, I made it one more day,” he informed me with a deep sigh.
On Thursday when I arrived to pick him up, he was already in the parking lot heading my way. I checked the time, but I wasn’t late. I looked over by the field. All the boys were there getting their things together. As he got into the car I was afraid that he was going to tell me he had been cut. I held my breath.
“Well?” I asked.
“Not yet,” he said.
When I asked him why he was in the parking lot so early he cut his eyes my direction, like he does when he’s up to something, and said, “I figured out that after practice when we are getting our things together, the coach comes up to a player and puts his arm around him and walks off. That’s when the coach tells him he didn’t make the team. So…” Sam shrugged his shoulders.
“So,” I continued for him, “You figured if the coach can’t catch you, he can’t cut you, huh?”
He cut his eyes back and me again. I nodded my head, “Quick thinking.”
Friday was the last day of cuts. As I drove in front of the school, I had this vision of Sam’s coach chasing him down the road as Sam, running as fast as he could, yelled over his shoulder, “If you want to cut me, you are going to have to catch me first!”
The thought made me laugh, but as I continued to play that scenario over in my mind, I realized that I am sometimes just like Sam when it comes to God. I think we all are, especially when we sense God telling us to do something we don’t want to do or when we know we are not abiding in His will. Like Sam, we have this way of pretending we don’t hear God or feel His tugging on our hearts.
Though Sam’s idea seemed pretty smart at the time, the problem with it was that eventually, he would have to face his coach. Same with us. We can try running from God and what He is telling us to do, like Jonah, only to find ourselves in the belly of a whale…that’s not a great option. Or, we can try to ignore God’s plan for our lives because it’s not what we want, like the children of Israel did. Unfortunately, that option isn’t great either because we will only find ourselves wandering around in the desert -miserable…maybe even for 40 years.
So, as I sat in the parking lot waiting for tryouts to end, I realized how foolish it is to try to outrun or ignore my Coach. I also realized that, unlike Sam, I don’t have to worry about being cut because I’m not good enough. The day I said yes to Jesus, I made the team. I will never have to worry about being cut, or traded, or forced to retire because someone better than me comes along!
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