One thing is common across America during the summer the beaches are full, it’s hot, and baseball in full swing. Across America are countless little league games full of potential future big leaguers or whatever they may go on to. A few summers back I decided to umpire a local league for some extra cash during the summer, but also because I dearly loved the game of baseball. One of the great things about the job was the kids and their undying love for the game, one of the worst parts was the parents. It would not matter if I made the right or wrong call I would get rants from both sides. I call a strike one side screaming good call blue which was ironic because my gear was green. However, the other side was screaming terrible call. I could not win. Not to mention I would often be greeted by one of the parents after the game telling me I should be ashamed of myself. Don’t get me wrong heckling the referee seems pretty universal, but I think it gets worse at this level because there is an instant availability. What many of those parents seem to never get is that this is for their kids. They are having fun and with the rare exception, most of them are just happy to play the game, make friends, and be a kid. The sad thing is many Christians are the exact same way. While I don’t think I’ve been to a service where someone has stood up and told the pastor he is wrong or someone one standing up yelling rev. you suck. Nor do I believe I have seen anyone stand up ripping their shirt calling the pastor a blasphemer. Of course, we wouldn’t we’re Christians and we wait to talk to the pastor afterward and tell him all this. Ok, well maybe most of us are not calling our pastor a blasphemer. Nonetheless, ask any pastor how much input he gets following a sermon. Most people will often give them the humble good message. However, there is usually one person who has some sort of gripe. These gripes range from “I didn’t like the second song the choir sang”, “pastor the new family the Williams, they were sitting in our pew”, “the lights in the chapel was too bright”, “that message was a little risky don’t you think”, “that sermon was good, but what if next week we…” The list goes on and I am sure you all could add a hundred more as could I.
And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Much like those little leaguers we should worship and conduct our faith much like a child playing little league. A kid who is playing little league is not concerned with winning they are concerned with playing, sliding in the dirt, and having fun. They have an adoration for the game which is second to none. They look at their favorite players as people who are larger than life. They have sun burnt arms, big league chew, and baseball cards, some of us still have all this (guilty). Unlike the parents in the stands, it’s not about them, it’s about the kids. No one is going to get draft not a college offer due to their little league performance. It’s a game and it’s meant to be fun. That’s what it’s all about. When we go to church it’s not about us or our favorite songs. Not it’s about God and God alone. Everything we do if for His glory, not our entertainment. So next time your pastor is preaching a message which hits you too hard to the core get over it if his/her message is biblical. The only thing we should be advocating for does this all glorify God. Yes, we should be looking for ways to make it better and ways to have fun, but not if it takes away from the core. Like many of the parents who overreact to a game, if it’s not hurting anyone we should let it go.
A lot of us make Christianity harder than it needs to be, but the thing is it’s not a thought, but a practice. It’s not a set of words it’s a way of life. We like a child who is reliant on others should be reliant on God. We should be at church for God like those kids are at the ballpark. We should look at God like those kids look at Kris Bryant, Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado, or insert another popular ballplayer and times that 100 over again. We should want God as much as 90% of the kids want to pitch or play shortstop. A lot of use struggle with what is important, but our faith is as simple as playing little league. It’s not about the score it’s about having fun. So what if you’re not the best at it, no one is a major leaguer at the little league level. Like being a little leaguer we are here to learn lessons, develop, and grow.