Monday, June 18, 2012

“Developing Future Prospects”

If you watch baseball or any other sport you will agree that each sport possesses its own language. In baseball there are words like steal, bunt, sacrifice, and strike that have completely different meaning than when we use those exact words in our daily life. Baseball is a unique sport in which player development is essential. Compared to professional football, basketball, or hockey those lucky enough to get drafted, rookies in baseball do not start or play right away. Baseball has a strategic developmental system. Even when a player breaks into the majors, there are still veteran players who mentor the younger guys. There comes a time in every player’s professional career where they make a transition from securing their position to mentoring or sharing their knowledge with those less experienced. Players become great by what others have taught them both on and off the field not on talent and skill alone. This makes me wonder where am I in life, what have I done to develop future prospects. I seem to find myself most days somewhere between the rookie and the veteran.

When we look closely there is really no difference between baseball players and those of us who call ourselves “Christians” or followers of Jesus. Christians use words like faith, hope and love but may not have a clear, relevant, working definition of exactly what those words mean. Even though we use them all the time, they sound spiritual, they seem inviting and comforting, we may have no idea what they actually mean. I know churches named Faith and another named Hope but when you ask individuals connected to them what that means many find it hard to articulate the meaning of faith and hope. It's essential to have a clear working definition for such spiritual sounding words. The working definition of faith can be describes as in Hebrews 11:1 as: "being sure in what we hope for and certain about what we cannot see." To have faith in someone is to call out things that are not as though they are. Meaning we call out in people not what is there but what can be. This is done to us when someone takes a chance on us. Someone has faith in us, gives us a opportunity, or trust us on a task when we have no clue what we are doing. Jesus was the master of this. Some of us believe in others but faith takes belief a step further. If faith is calling things that are not as though they are then what is hope? Hope is seeing those things others don’t see. We have to see past what is and see what has the potential to be. As I approach my 44 birthday this week I began to compile a list of all the people in my life who saw something in me that I couldn’t see myself. I ahve been so blessed. My wife, my children, my parents, my siblings, my 2rd grade teacher, my friends, pastors and other church leaders, all these people who saw something inside of me that I could not see.

Here is the deal; the Bible mandates that if we want to play for Jesus, then we must live our lives so it will resemble the life Jesus lived. We are to pour out our knowledge, experiences, and what God has placed inside of us into other people. We are to play an important part in the development of future prospects. We are to be able to articulate a clear definition of faith, hope, and love. We are to demonstrate those definitions in our daily lives. In I Corinthians 13, Paul is writing about faith, hope and love and a chapter of scripture we have all heard at weddings, he reiterates that out of faith, hope and love, that love is the greatest. Why is love the most important? Because we can place our faith in people, we can give them hope and they still can let us down. But love is to have the patience to walk with someone during their development not just after. Love is walking with someone through the ups and downs, the highs and lows, when they let you down and make you proud, and being there with them as they develop into all-stars in life.

Who needs your faith in them right now? Who needs you to call out things that are not there as if they are there? Who in your life today needs hope? Who is that person that needs you to tell them what you see in them that others can’t? Who in your life needs that kind of love? Is it your children, coworker, grandchildren, friend, or spouse that needs that type of love? Call them, text them, drop them a note, have coffee with them, reach out to them help develop them into superstars on life. Don't give up on them, love them. It is time we begin to transition from securing our own position and begin to mentor those less experienced.

Peace, Love, and Happiness;