A Comparison Between "Church" and "Ball"
I have always greatly enjoyed competing in sports, watching sports, and following sports. From an early age, most of my heroes were athletes. When I had the opportunity to meet one of my football heroes (Franco Harris) a few years ago in Pittsburgh, I felt just like a little kid again.
Perhaps that’s why we love sports (“ball”) where we can go watch our children and grandchildren play. It brings back feelings of happier times, such as from our childhood. For those of us with a competitive streak, watching our kids play ball is very fulfilling when they play well and win.
In going through a few seasons of “ball” as a parent, I noted some observations that we can apply to serving the Lord. I hope not only that they’ll be helpful to you, but that they will also serve to put things into their proper perspective:
1) If we can drop everything else in our lives for “ball,” why can’t we do the same for God? Have you ever noticed how we prioritize everything in our lives to fit in ball games? If we want to, we can do the same to show that the Lord is first in our lives (Matt. 6:33).
2) If practice is so important to developing skills and becoming a better ball player, then why don’t we take our children to church every opportunity we get? Don’t the same principles apply to learning God’s word? We and our children need to practice serving the Lord as well (2 Tim. 2:15, 3:15)!
3) How is it I can get my children to 3 practices and 3 games in one week…but not even one church service? Our children learn what is important to us very early on in life. Attending our local church services as well as supporting gospel meetings and home Bible studies are not always easy to do (just like ballgames), but if we have a love for God and other Christians, we will be there (Psalm 122:1, Heb. 10:24-25) and help our children to learn spiritual discipline.
4) Why do we teach our children to “tough it out” when they have a small injury or play on a losing team, but we pack it all up when they have a single spiritual setback? There are times when it will not be easy for us to serve God. We suffer persecution, discouragement, and hardships. How we answer those, just like in sports, shows our children how to persevere in Christ (2 Tim. 4:2, 5).