Just a few days ago a group of friends and I went “out to the ballgame.” It was a beautiful night for baseball, 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.
As we found our way to our seats my expectations were not very high. You see, I am still dealing with the fact that my favorite team is no longer the better team in the city. Our fan base once had 108 years’ worth of trash talk for the other team…and all that came crashing down just a few years ago. But I try not to be petty.
Instead, I look to the future. The team has fully embraced the concept of a “re-build” as they have traded away stars in order to acquire young prospects. They have told us, the fan base, “we are going to be bad now so that we can be good in the future.” It sounds weird, but I’m on board. After all, this approach did work out well for our Northside frenemies.
Anyway, back to the game. My expectations were low, but I was looking forward to seeing a few of those new young prospects in action, particularly the one who was on the mound.
The starting pitcher for the home team has been absolutely incredible of late, and he has been the talk of many local sports radio talk shows. So, even though my expectations were tempered I was excited.
The game began, and one inning slipped to the next inning routinely and mercilessly uneventful. The pitching was very good, particularly from our new young pitcher who finished 8 innings with a big fat zero earned runs and only gave up 4 hits.
But, aside from the stellar pitching and a pair of exciting doubles from our offense, the game was one of the most boring games I have ever been to.
We were entering the 9th inning still tied at 0-0. My wife and others in our group had gotten to the point of cheering for any batter, home or away, for no other reason but to end the misery of a scoreless game. No one wanted to prolong the boredom.
And that’s when I realized. Good pitching produces boring games. The average fan doesn’t sit there and analyze the pitcher’s performance. Casual viewers do not appreciate the beauty and skill that is involved in the pitcher just simply doing his job well. Instead; flashy catches, line drives, wild pitches, and close calls are what is preferred.
Good pitching can easily be undervalued and yawned at.
And you know what? Unfortunately, we can also be guilty of having that same attitude in life as well. A life well-lived, free from scandal or offensiveness, can easily be undervalued and seen as boring by many.
Following Jesus is NOT boring at all, I promise you. However, there are times where a certain, steady faithfulness is required.
Steady faithfulness when you can’t hear God speak.
Steady faithfulness when the mountains don’t move.
Steady faithfulness when church seems routine.
Steady faithfulness when all you see are plateaus.
Steady faithfulness when doing what is right is hard.
Steady faithfulness when doing what is wrong is easy.
Steady faithfulness when life is boring and dull.
Steady faithfulness when you don’t receive recognition for your hard work.
Steady faithfulness when life “over there” seems so much more exciting.
Colossians 2:6 encourages us who have received Jesus to, “walk in Him,” and to be, “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith.” And Colossians 1:23 describes those who continue in the faith as “stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the Gospel.”
The Christian life is not a boring one, I can assure you of that. But there are times when being stable and steadfast and unshifting in the faith may seem like a boring way to live. The reality, however, is that the things that our culture calls “exciting” are often the things that lead to the most frustration and destruction.
I am committed to following Jesus, if the people around me call that “boring” then so-what, my mind is made up and my game plan is set.
By the way, there was only a single run that was scored in that game I went to. It was a walk-off solo home run that sent the entire crowd into roaring celebration. That celebration was only made possible because of the good pitching that kept the other team’s score at zero.
There is a celebration in store for those who follow Jesus, and that party will be anything but boring.