Wednesday, August 31, 2011

“Resisting the Urge”

Mathematically and statically for all intended purposes the season for both the Cardinals and Cubs are over. Neither will make the play offs so the excitement, enthusiasm, and fanfare has quickly faded. Already real sports fans are talking about the Rams and the Bears as football commences, it is tempting to move on with another year’s disappointment, under achieved expectations, and frustration. In baseball, whenever the pitcher has two strikes on the batter, he will intentionally throw one low or in the dirt. The pitcher is relying on the desperation of the batter to swing at the next pitch. Professional players, great hitters will swing at a pitch in the dirty. They will lung their bodies, adjust there swig just to make contact with the ball. Most batters just want to make contact with the ball and hope it goes foul. When a batter is struck out by a pitch in the dirt, they immediately know they “fell” for it. They walk back to the dug out, knowing full well they have been had. All their experience, practice, and patience were thrown out the window by their desire to swing.

In life we have all swung at bad pitches. We have all swung and missed at a pitch in the dirt. We have all chased after something we thought was success and realized we had been duped. Sometimes our desires can overcome our common sense and the results are we fall into temptation and strike out. Like in baseball and in life, the great hitters are the ones who fight the temptation to swing and hold off; allowing the pitch to hit the dirt and be called a ball. Mediocre batters swing and hope to make contact, good hitters swing and foul it off, but great hitters control their impulses and watch the pitch hit the dirt.

I am not sure about you, but I know I desire a great life. Mediocre is fine for some people, good is fine for others but I want a great life. I want to be the greatest husband, father, and minster I can be. I don’t want to look back at life and tell people, “You know I could have been great but….” I want to look back on ever season of my life and say, “At the time, under the circumstances, I was greatest _____.” I am not saying I want perfection, just to live up to the potential God has placed in my soul.

In reality we are surrounded by temptation that nudges us to take the easy way out, to take a short cut, to justify our actions. Like the batter, just swing, get out, and take your chances next time you face that pitcher. The only way one can defeat temptation is by discipline. The discipline batter stands firm and strong and resists the urge to swing at any bad pitch. Many people lives are uprooted because they lack the discipline to resist urges. We are reminded that Christ, himself was tempted to take a short cut. Join us Sunday as we look at Jesus’ temptation and learn from him; the discipline we need in our own life to resist the urge to swing, when we know we should hold back.

Peace & Love,

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