I remember the first time I played baseball. It was in public school, I’m guessing grade four… grade four during the annual ‘Field Day’ at Prince Charles Public School in London Ontario. I must have just learned the rules and now for the first time in my life I found myself ‘at the bat.’ Yessir, inexperienced, nonathletic, young ‘Johnny-at-the-bat.’
The pitcher wound up, gave it all he got, and hurled that hard little orb straight at me. I swung and ‘CRACK!’ Much, much to my amazement – and I’m sure to the amazement of most of my classmates – I hit that little missile faaar out into the outfield. Dumbfounded, and shoulder still reverberating, I stood, never having anticipated getting this far! “RUN!” my class screamed in unison. I snapped back to action and I ran. I ran will all my mini-might! From base to base I ran. No one could stop me, and indeed no one did until I had just about made it round to home plate. Everyone had been shouting and I figured I must be the star of the game! That is, until I focussed more on what they had been shouting. Their urgent plea had been this: “You’re going the wrong way!”
Deflating moments… we’ve all had them. Some more serious and ego damaging than others. And oh how the devil likes to rub our noses in them. Sometimes however we deserve them. When our noses get held too high we can’t see the roadway. Strutting about like this we can quickly become snobs! A fall may be needed to make us alert again to follow the roadway.
But a humble man can be crushed by an abundance of deflating experiences. It is the weakest of the flock that the predator stalks. We who are strong have a duty go those that are weak. And all of us are strong at some things or in some seasons and weak at other things or at other seasons. None of us can ever boast!
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:1-2).
We see in this scripture the obligation to be a team player in this Kingdom of God family, yet at the same time to keep forefront in our thinking the truth that we do not do this from a position of personal strength. We must ever “watch ourselves” lest we also “be tempted.” The implication is that none of us is any better than our struggling brother or sister in Christ. Any one if us could be the next fallen comrade in need of a lift from a fellow believer.
We all need the team to cheer us on or shout at us if ever we take of running the wrong way. Be a good team player. Don’t be a snob. Give attention to where you are going. Encourage the weak. Run the right way.