It is a sad day when the regular baseball season ends and your team is not moving forward. There is something special about playoff baseball in the fall – the crowds, the cool autumn air, and the towels waving – it is truly a great time for a sports fan. So when your team misses out, it is a good time to reflect and to ask what happened. What went wrong and why? In spring training we had such high hopes for the team. The club promised to make strides with young players and to win more games, and everyone, quite frankly, was rooting for the team. The Phillies didn’t follow through on those high hopes this year, unfortunately. However, they ended their last 21 games of the season with a 13-8 record. The rookies came on really strong towards the end of the season and showed some guts and moxie. Hope will spring again for these guys next year after all, and if the past month is any indication, our hopes will be even higher next year. However, players’ involvement in the off-season, making sure they are keeping their skills sharp and working out to stay in shape, will be a real key. It isn’t enough for the players to say they will do better next year. They need to act on this. It reminds me of this passage in Matthew about wanting to get involved, but not doing anything about it:
Matthew Chapter 21 says:
28“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ 29“And the son answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. 30“The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. 31“Which of the two did the will of his father?”
The Phillies’ season and this parable remind me that it is truly never too late to get involved and to make a difference in someone’s life. You may say that life has passed you by, or that you do not know what to do next, but if you ask the Lord this week to guide you in showing mercy and kindness to others, I am betting he will. God loves us and wants us to love him and our neighbors. However, it isn’t enough to just love. We must act on that love. Jesus’ whole ministry was about reaching the lost and touching lives physically, emotionally and sacrificially. He did this to the point where he even laid down his own life. Even as Jesus served those in his day with his physical presence, God wants you to serve others. Is there something God has laid on your heart that he wants you to get involved with? Please don’t think the task is too small. Please give this a try and watch the results grow and blossom into another opportunity. I am hoping the Phillies train hard this off-season, that the coaches get involved with teaching the youngsters, and that the players make a push for bettering them next season. How about you? Will you just talk about loving others, or will you go out and do it? Let’s do this, and I will save you a seat for next October and we can celebrate together.