I enjoy watching the Home Run Derby during the All Star Game festivities. The rules of the derby go something like this. The player gets ten outs per round. Anything that you make contact with that is not a home run is an out. You hit more home runs than your opponent and you advance to the next round. Since it is a home run derby and not a singles, doubles or triples derby – only the long ball counts.
Sometimes I see in my own heart this same mindset when it comes to the Christian life. I have had the opportunity to sit under some amazing ministries. Perhaps I’m a little biased but the men that I have heard preach at my church are “home run” hitting men – not just in pulpit with their ability to preach – but more importantly (at least to me) in their ability to lead and shepherd the flock of God. These men are true pastors in every sense of the word – not just so called ministers using the sheep as a stepping stone to a ‘better opportunity’ – but pastors who strap on boots and all-weather gear to find a sheep that has gotten lost and is outside the fold, pastors who defend their flock, pastors who feed their flock and labor among dirty, forgetful and sinning sheep.
One of my pastors has moved to Zambia – talk about home run hitting – what can be more impressive than THAT?!?! I think of a dear sister who has moved to the Far East to help lighten the administrative load of a missionary family there. Another home run. And then I think of my own walk with Christ. Suffice to say, I’m not hitting any home runs. I’m barely eeking out bunt singles at times (like my softball career but that’s another post for another time). But you know, the vast majority of God’s servants are like me in that regard. Bunt single, strikeout, strikeout, reached on an error, etc…laboring in anonymity.
So my friend, as you struggle to teach your seven year old the two greatest commandments for the hundredth time – as a stay-at-home mom you struggle to find purpose in changing diapers and reading books and administering medicine at the proper times – the dad who labors day in and day out, with no recognition…all single type hits…God notices. Hebrews 6:10 says, “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
Press on. Keep eeking out those bunt singles for God has not called you to be great – He has called you to obedient. And those who do the greatest things for God are those who, by the grace of God, seek to simply follow Him.