Sports are a beautiful thing. They can take a boy and turn him into a man. In the world of sports there are two types of players: the ones that play and the ones that don’t. The ones that play have it easy; they practice and get to play. The ones that don’t play have it more difficult because their hard work doesn’t translate into playing time.
The players that sit on the bench have a choice to make. They can either complain because they feel entitled to more playing time or they can work hard to get better. Many decide to complain and lack the will to work hard. If a player like this finally gets called to play they will not be ready. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the one who consistently works hard will be ready when coach calls him into the game. This is because this player was consistently working hard, so when he did get called into the game he was ready to play.
Christians are like athletes who sit on the bench. We sit on the bench and watch life pass us by without difficulty. We neglect God because it’s as if we have no need for him. Why would we need God when things are going well? Then all of a sudden life calls you into the game. Life is relentless. It doesn’t care who you are or what you’re doing at the moment. If life calls you to play you must enter the game ready or not.
There are two types of Christians: those who are inconsistent and those who are consistent. The inconsistent Christian won’t be ready when life calls them into the game. Life is inconsistent. It throws at us sickness, death, neglect, financial stress, difficult marriages, natural disasters, etc. When these things occur in our lives it seems that life calls us into the game. The inconsistent Christian hears his name called and is stunned. He never thought this would happen to him. “How could I be this sick? Did my parent really just die? Am I really going to lose the house?” In these moments an inconsistent Christian isn’t prepared for life. In the offseason, while everything went well, they saw no need for God so they took it easy. Now that they are in need, a season of neglect turns into a season of pursuit. They dust off their Bibles and turn to God.
The consistent Christian pursues God whether it’s during an offseason or in the middle of a difficult season. When life calls them into the game they are prepared. Their relationship with God was consistently growing so when difficulty arrived they were ready. To them a life with God isn’t a seasonal event, it is a consistent pursuit.
Some of the most dangerous times to be a Christian are the times when life goes well. We feel we are in control and have no need for a Savior. We don’t lean on God because there doesn’t seem a need to do so. Because of this, our relationship with God becomes conditional to the current circumstances we are in. On the contrary, when life is difficult we turn to God. We realize we have no control and are in need of help. In these moments we depend on God because we are forced to.
Let us not be a people who turn to God only when times are difficult. Instead, let us be consistent in our pursuit of him so that when life calls us into the game we are ready to play.