Not many people where I live (Canada) are big baseball fans, but I am one of them. I have loved the sport ever since my dad first taught me to throw and catch in the backyard as a little kid. Even though I haven’t been able to watch much baseball lately, I’ve been keeping up on the postseason closely.
One thing that is noticeable about the playoffs is that teams adopt a “win now” mentality. During the regular season, teams have to think long-term. A baseball season is 162 games long, and so it is more like a marathon than a sprint. But once a team makes the playoffs, most long-term thinking goes out the window. Teams and players know that the chances to win it all are rare. They can’t assume that a loss today won’t mean much tomorrow. When you lose one game out of 162, it’s no big deal. But when you lost one in a best-of-five series, that is a different story.
The mindset is this: the time is short, so do whatever you have to in order to win now.
I was thinking today, shouldn’t that be the same kind of mentality we have as Christians? Baseball is just a sport. But life is real. And according to the Bible, time is quickly running out before Christ returns. I have to admit that I don’t always live like that is true. A lot of the time I live as if life will continue on forever and I will have multiple chances to do the things that need to be done. In a sense, I am coasting at the most critical point in the season.
I believe that we should view life as a long race. Too much worrying and business isn’t good. But at the same time, we need to keep some sense of urgency, because we never know when our life will be over or when Jesus will come back. I am the kind of person who wants to build relationships with people in order to share the gospel with them. I’m not naturally drawn towards confrontational, street-style evangelism. Yet I must confess that I sometimes lack enough urgency. Sometimes I am too slow to share the gospel. Sometimes I am too patient. Before I know it, my chance to make a difference might be swept away in a single moment. I know that I would have some regrets.
Let me challenge you today to re-instill a sense of urgency into your faith. Stop being complacent with your habitual sins, thinking they will somehow vanish over time. Stop waiting forever to share the gospel with people, waiting for “just the right opportunity” that will never come. Stop acting like you will have chance after chance to make a difference. Realize that life is short, and we’ve only got one shot to go for it. We only have a small window of opportunity to make an impact for Christ. Let’s adopt a “win now” mindset.
“I am coming soon” – Jesus (Revelation 22:7, 12, 16)