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Home The Light Articles from 2011 Take Me Out of the Ball Game

Take Me Out of the Ball Game

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In Matt. 6:25 Jesus said, "No an can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." When we decide to go all the way

for the Lord Jesus Christ, it becomes obvious that we cannot hold on to the world and to the Lord at the same time. We may be challenged to no longer participate in things we once loved. Such has been the case with myself. For many years my life re­volved around organized sports. Whatever it took to win the game, that is what I pursued. A few years ago, I decided to quit playing church and strive to truly save myself and those near and dear to me. As I drew closer to the Lord there was a ques­tion that I continued to face - "Can I save myself, and can I save my daughter if we stay involved in orga­nized sports?" "Will her being on the ballfield and pleasing a mostly worldly crowd help or hurt her desire to obey the gospel and become like the woman of Titus 2:4-5?" Having been yoked to the sports scene for thirty plus years as player, coach, league official, etc., I can honestly say that my flesh continued to strongly urge, "Take me out to the ball game!"



At this time something else was happening in my life. I was studying God's Word more in an effort to strengthen myself and my family. I was attending the services of the church more and truly listening to the preaching. With this happening, it was becoming harder to keep my heart "on the game" and "on the church" at the same time. My hope to see my children saved began to be seriously challenged by our love for the games. I began to observe real dangers that I had never seen or had simply been too worldly-minded to admit existed.

One real and potential harm that I guess I had put in the back of my mind was our unequal yoke with the world. 1 Cor. 15:33 teaches us to "Be not deceived; evil communications (companionships) corrupt good man­ners." I wanted my daughter to love the Lord and to love the church. I wanted her to dress modestly and to seek good Christian friends. How­ever, I began to see that her involve­ment in organized sports was leading us in the opposite direction. She was chumming with worldly teammates who, I had to admit, were constantly pushing her to throw away right prin­ciples. I could see that her best friends on the hallfield were mostly those who would not encourage her to obey the gospel and become faith­ful in the family of God. I was sup­porting my daughter in an obvious collision course spiritually. Further­more, her example would encourage other young girls in the church to follow the same very dangerous path. Another danger I began to see in the sports world was the constant doses we were receiving of "the pride of life." The applause and praise of men is addictive. Generally, the more you are clapped for, the more clap­ping you will desire. Once again I was challenged spiritually as I began to see all the vain glory that sur­rounded the games. In 1 John 2:16 we read that "the pride of life (vain glory) is not of the father, but is of the world." My daughter was told "You will be one of the best!" At 10 years old her fast-pitch Softball was clocked at 62 m.p.h. So as her father I took her once a week to an Olympic pitching coach to further develop her talent. Yes, the crowd loved her. Our team was winning almost every where we went. However, because I was studying God's Word more and desiring a stable future for my daugh­ter with God being first in her life, I could see that the pride of life was beginning to work against her. I could also see that Dad's pride in his daughter's accomplishments on the ballfield was affecting his ability to lead her in the right direction spiritu­ally.

I continued to observe other dan­gers as time went on. They included the temptation to compromise church services (Sunday night, mid-week, gospel meetings) for the games, dis­ruption of family time and family life, constant atmosphere of immod­esty, vulgar language, destruction of femininity, etc. The list could go on. A decision had to be made if I was serious about saving my daughter and saving my own soul. James 1:8 reminds us that "a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways" and it had become obvious that a mind given to the Lord ran in the opposite direction of a mind given to orga­nized sports.

Thirty plus years of allegiance to the games came to an end. With the help of my brethren and especially with the love and support of the Heavenly Father I said, "Take me out of 'the ball game!" My daughter and I have yoked ourselves to the family of God instead of the organized sports scene.

Please remember my family and me when you pray, that we will stay the course and resist the temptation to return to the world and one of its allurements. Heaven will surely be worth it all! -Murfreesboro, TN 37127



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