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Your Spiritual Pennant Race

July 19, 2008

It is no secret that I am a big fan of baseball. I love all of the ins and outs of the game. I love checking the scores every night, I love rooting for my team, and some days I love rooting against our rivals even more. I love that almost every week you see something in baseball that hasn’t been done in years ( or every before). I love monster home runs, and I love seeing a pitcher go a full 9 innings without giving up a hit. Plain and simple I love baseball. I love all 162 games that my team plays.

As I am writing this, it is nearly the All-Star weekend, sometimes called the All-Star break. This is a time for fans to see the best of the best in baseball. There are all kinds of festivities around the All-Star weekend, including the Home Run Derby. But what some people might not realize is that this period of time is crucial for any of the teams who are still in the “pennant race”. These are the teams who will lead their divisions and then go to the playoffs and have a chance to win a world championship.

It is around this time when the upper management of the baseball teams will decide what kind of team they are. If they are still in the race, they will go looking to add better players and get rid of some of the pieces that don’t fit. If they are a team that is struggling and is out of the race they will try to get younger guys to rebuild their team. This happens every year. One thing is for certain, if you want to win your pennant race, then you have to make some deals. If you want to have a shot at the world championship you have got to make a move.

All of this got me thinking about a passage from the book of Hebrews: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (12:1)

The reality of our spiritual lives is that there are things that slow us down from running the race. And if we want to run the best spiritual race we can we need to throw off the things that hinder us and slow us down. We need to get rid of those things which disconnect us from God.

I think we all need “All-Star Breaks” in our lives. We need those moments to really evaluate what we can do to better the race we are running. Notice the author says “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” He mentions two things. The first is everything, the second is sin. We all know that sin separates us from God and hinders our race. But sometimes we forget about all of the other things in our life that are good that can hinder us too.

So what is it in your life, good thing or bad thing, which is hindering your race? What is separating you from God? If you made a list of priorities what is ahead of God? We should all take the time to trade out some bad habits for good ones. We should even be willing to trade away something that is good for something that is better.

Remember that your life is a race, and our spirituality demands attention. We should not neglect it and allow ourselves to be slowed down by the good or the bad. The powerful thing, the dangerous thing to know is that you are the upper management of your team and at any time you can trade for something better.

So may each of us take the time to evaluate our team, and recognize what we need to do in order to win our race! May we run the race will strength and perseverance! If we do this I am confident we will see some amazing things, some things that haven’t been seen in years. We may even do things that have never been done before! All for the Glory of Christ our King!

For His Kingdom,


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