The Court or the Diamond

I am on the road, and even though each week I try to find a church to attend in the town I’m in, there is still a desire to be connected to my home church. It is such a wonderful thing to be able to open the website and listen to the sermon from wherever I am.
Yesterday the sermon was preached by our church’s former youth pastor and he gave an analogy at the beginning that at first I didn’t connect with; but later, as I was outside walking something clicked. And though it wasn’t the point he was making in his analogy, it struck an important chord in my life and thoughts.
In short, the pastor spoke of a very famous and talented basketball player leaving the sport to go play baseball. Because his talent was with basketball his career in baseball was filled with struggle and difficulty, eventually coming to an end. At which time he went back to what he was good at – to where he belonged.
As I wandered through the forest picking blackberries and marveling at the insane beauty of the mountains in the distance, I thought of the account of the basketball player and chuckled at his foolishness. A moment later I stopped short realizing that this is exactly what I do so often! Maybe not in a sports environment but in my Christian walk.
It kind of goes like this. I get into a flow with my prayer and study time, I’m killing it with my right thoughts and actions. Then, instead of leaning in further to the Scriptures I become distracted by other things and before I know it my time and energy is spent elsewhere. It isn’t long before I experience struggles, conflict, and failure. Eventually I lift my head and realize I am not where I belong, and I go back to building and strengthening my relationship with the Lord, which leads to further growth and a deeper relationship with Jesus and with those around me.
I hate to use a sports analogy on something so important but here goes: Just as this sports figure, upon returning to basketball found greater reward, so my heart finds greater reward when I remain in Christ and He is my focus.
John 15:4-5 – Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
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