Listening, obeying a higher authority

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Summer began this week. Not according the calendar, but according to the crack of the bat. Stadiums filled with crowds cheering for the great home run hitters to take one more out of the park.

I am a novice baseball fan, yet there are some amazing correlations from the great American pastime to our own walks with God.

While Jesus was praying toward the end of his earthly ministry, he said, "I brought glory to you here on Earth by completing the work you gave me to do." (John 17:4) In these words he was making a statement of obedience, accomplishment and completion. I believe Jesus modeled this prayer for his followers in order that they would understand that the Father has given them assignments to be obedient to and accomplish.

The manager and his coaching staff evaluate the skills each player brings to the field and then assigns them their position on both the field and in the batting line up. They know what skills are required to bring success to each position. The player's responsibility is to listen and obey what the manager says or choose to become a spectator with the rest of us.

The difference is that with God there are no spectators. Not everyone will be a ballplayer, but God has a purpose and a position for each of us to play. The challenge is that instead of reading our name on a roster, we must go through a process of discovering who we have been created to be and dare to live our best created selves. God expects us to be obedient to him to discover that purpose.

The manager expects his players to accomplish what is required of them to succeed in their position. He doesn't expect the right fielder to dawn the catcher's gear and to play second base. He expects the right fielder to play his position. Just like Jesus brought glory to God by accomplishing what he gave him to do, we can do the same. We can accomplish the purposes that God laid out for us.

Jesus brought to completion what he was called to do. God has uniquely designed each of us to bring to completion. Today's simple prayer, "Put me in, coach, I'm ready to play."

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at

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