Much to the dismay of my mother, I’m a sports fan. Not all sports, mind you. I’m a baseball and football kind of girl (though I’ll watch hockey if the occasion calls for it). When February rolls around, I get excited because that means that Major League Baseball spring training begins and the long winter without my favourite team is over. I park my comfy chair in front of the big screen and watch to see how my players worked on their game over the winter months.
You can tell who spent the off-season on the beach and who spent it at the gym or with trainers. Some guys aren’t as quick to get around the bases or catch that fly ball to left field. Other guys have trimmed down and come up with some new strategies to improve their game. And then there are the minor league players—the guys who have previously impressed the team scouts and have been invited to join the big boys for the spring. They get a chance to try to prove their worth and maybe even earn a spot in the starting line up.
Be dressed for service and well-prepared.
Luke 12:35 (NLT)
MLB spring training can be full of surprises. Those guys who spent their time off on the beach may find themselves quickly replaced by the young pitcher who spent his off-season perfecting his curve ball. The tried and true second baseman may be bumped for the kid who shows up to the diamond early every day dressed for action. The biggest characteristic that will define the team going into the first weeks of the schedule is preparation. If a player waits until spring to try to get himself into shape, he may find himself bumped down a few levels.
But I’m not an athlete, how is this supposed to apply to me?
Every Christian—no matter what they may or may not feel called to do—should be like the players who spend the winter training hard and getting better. The Bible is not a textbook just for teachers, but a guidebook for life—your life.
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV)
While Paul may be writing to Timothy, this is for all of us. Ministry is not just for pastors, teachers, preachers, apostles, and evangelists. It’s for all of us.
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.
1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)
If you wait to be called up to prepare, you’ll never get the call. But, if you work on preparation daily, you’ll be ready at any moment to respond with words of hope, love, and truth. In sports, natural ability will only get you so far. Often, it’s the lesser talented guys who work the hardest that get the job. The same works for us. Those who are prepared get the call and are rewarded for it.
Don’t wait. Get up. Get dressed. Be prepared.
Daily Bible reading: 1 Samuel 4-6, Luke 12:35-59