My son’s All-Star Team began their first games this past weekend. As an Assistant Coach, I have been at nearly every practice teaching these seven and eight year olds the game of baseball. The coaches have instructed these boys in hitting, fielding, throwing, base running, sportsmanship, and so much more. On the last practice before the first game, I gave them a little pep talk. It went a little something like this: “Play to win, don’t play not to lose. Too many players always worry about messing up; I want you to think about the great plays you are going to make this weekend. Play to win!” As I pondered my own words later that night, I thought about the church. I thought about Jesus’ followers. How often do we play the game of life not to lose, rather than playing to win? We hold back from God’s calling, God’s plan, God’s purpose, God’s mission in our lives. The Christian life playing to win, not playing not to lose. Hebrews 12:1 is a reminder of how Jesus lived: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” Take a risk. Live a little. Live a lot! Listen for the voice of God. Follow Jesus. Play to win!
– Rev. Patrick Quinn