The above photo is a picture my oldest of three kids. It was taken last summer at “Perfect Game.” Perfect Game is an organization which showcases and scouts the top high-school aged baseball talent around the country. My son has played organized baseball since the age of five, and from age 8 to 17 he played travel ball (both locally, and also up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States). He is now training for his first season (this coming spring) at the college level. Lord willing, he will continue this journey for many years to come.
Throughout my son’s baseball career, even since the age of eight when he started playing travel ball, I have continually reminded him that…
There will always be a last game.
My intention with this constant reminder was to put baseball in its proper perspective. It was intended to help keep him humble, and to also help him develop an appreciation for the very rare gift that God had given him.
The thing is, we just don’t know when that last game will be. I still always remind him that nobody does, except God. I tell him that the last game could come at any moment due to things like: injury, an accident, sickness, a failure to perform well enough to continue the climb to the next level, a financial set back, the list goes on and on. And, because of this reality, he must give every game his all. He must train hard (year round), play hard (during the season), enjoy the experience, to always take it all in, to not take for granted the experiences that God had given him through baseball. And, above all… to give God the glory and the thanks for the opportunity.
Last night, our church lost a member due to their passing. It was a sudden and unexpected shock, which will be felt for some time. This sad news made me think about the advice that I have always given my son regarding baseball, and how such a perspective might help to serve us (Christians) a little better with regards to the relationships which we all have with people…
There will always be a last conversation.
Now, I’m not trying to be morbid. I’m simply encouraging us to just take a pause and to recognize the relationships that God has put in our lives; to possibly further treasure the blessing of knowing such people; to maybe take these relationships a little more seriously; to treat every person in our lives with a little more respect and grace…
Because, we never know when that last conversation will be.
The hearing of this passing made me think of how Paul encouraged the Church in Ephesus. He taught them to handle their conversations in light of what Christ had done for them. Paul also taught them to imitate Christ in how Christ lived His life, so that they would also live life with each other just as Christ had lived with those around Him.
May we always remember to do the same…
Ephesians 4:29 – 5:2 (NASB)
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
(In memory of Jermaine Parker)
Godspeed, to the brethren!
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