Finding your role for life isn’t always easy

May 28, 2019

Andre didn’t have a clue what to do. You see, Andre was from Bulgaria and had never seen softball before. Before he knew what was happening, he was playing catcher and catch-up at the same time.

Our team needed a tenth player and Andre was a warm body. We put him at catcher. Thought it would simplify things. “He won’t have to move much. Just catch the ball and throw it back to the pitcher.”

We stood him behind home plate and left him there. When we turned around, Andre was still standing where we left him. We told him to bend down. He did—like he was touching his toes. A team member had to run back out and show him how to crouch down behind home plate.

Andre was listed as #10 in the batting line-up. Thought he’d have time to get the idea of hitting the ball. Well, he did. On the second pitch Andre hit the ball. It wasn’t great, but it was worth a run to first. Andre just stood there watching the ball. We all yelled at him to run. He did. Toward third base.

I had a little visit with Andre on the bench. (That’s where you can usually find me in a softball game.) I showed him where first base was and explained to him how he needed to run like the wind if he hit the ball. Next time up he connected again. This time he ran. As hard as he could. To first base. He kept running and didn’t stop. Not even at first base! Next thing we knew, Andre was in right field yelling, “Touchdown!”

You’ve been there too, haven’t you? In a strange world wondering what you were supposed to be doing?

Remember the first day on the job? You interviewed well. Showed them how confident you were. Then suddenly there you were: a new desk, a new computer, and a new realization that you didn’t have a clue how to get started.

Life can be like that sometimes. We’re put in strange situations and don’t know how to respond. We run in the wrong directions. We find ourselves out in right field. We need a job description to tell us what we are supposed to be doing.

Surprisingly, even Christians seem to need a job description for life. A large-scale national survey conducted at one point by the Barna Research group revealed some startling information. When Christian adults were asked to identify their most important goal for their life, not a single person said it was to be a committed follower of Jesus Christ, or to make Disciples of Christ. Also, less than one out of every five born again adults had any specific and measurable goals related to their personal spiritual development.

In other words, many Christians are on the playing field without a clue as to what they are supposed to do. We need a job description. The good news is you can find one by watching Jesus. He’s narrowed it down to two things.

Jesus always had something to say and something to do. We’re told that he called his first disciples “so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons.”

You’re worried about that “cast out demons” part, right? Well don’t. We can talk about that one next week. That’s not the primary job description for you as a follower of Jesus. Did you see the primary thing a disciple is called to do? “… be with him.”

That’s it. Be with Jesus. So start there. Find some time every day to be with Jesus. Read his words. Talk to him. Turn to him during the day.

And when he says to run to first, run to first.

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