Kevin and I play city league softball (our church has a team). At our last game, Kevin was in left field and I was catcher. The first time he took the field, a ball was popped up to him. He caught it! The batter was out. Our team then got two more people out. Our teams switched – they took the field and we went to bat. I hit a hard grounder past third. I touched first base before the ball was thrown there. I was safe.
No one questioned any of these actions. No one hit the ball and ran directly to second base. No one got to three strikes and decided to keep trying to bat. At the end of the game, we had more points than the other team. No one said that we lost.
The rules of softball assure unity on the field. They force us to work as a team. Some teams have all star players, but no team wins with just one person on the field.
I can perfectly field a ground ball hit to third, but what good is it if there is no one at first for me to throw it to? How will we get anyone out?
My team needs the same goal. On the field, it is to get three outs quickly. At bat, it’s to get runners home. Overall…to win.
As Christians in the body of Christ, we must also work together for the same goal: to glorify Christ as we love others. Paul reminds the Philippian church to think “the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.”
We cannot all be the pitcher, otherwise we will cause our own defeat.
Our softball team only takes the field on Monday evenings. But my role in the body of Christ is active everyday. There are no time-outs, no seventh inning stretches.
Last week our youth group teamed up with several other churches in our city for an in-town mission trip. I could stand to learn a lesson from them: that even though we gather at different locations to worship, we all serve the same Lord.