“People who write about spring training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball.”
Spring is in the air…..literally, since yesterday marked the official day when Winter whispered ‘adieu’ at the very same moment that Spring shouted ‘bonjour’…..as if any of us here in South Carolina needed the reminder. (A “Breathe Rite” strip has become a permanent adornment on the nose of yours truly for the last few weeks since the pine trees in my backyard began their annual shower of yellow-green pollen that covers all surfaces here.) Now before you say it…yes, I do know that northern states on my side of the “pond” are arguing whether the poor prognosticating of Punxsutawney Phil (of Groundhog Day fame) warrants he be impeached! But, whatever your feelings on the matter, the fact is that the days are passing and with the arrival of Spring also comes the promise of Summer, fast on the heels of his sister!
Spring also heralds another popular tradition which begins in February, here in the states. Spring Training! For those who may not know, Spring Training is the annual gathering of major league baseball players who converge on Florida and Arizona to strengthen and re-condition those flabby, winter weakened muscles. Spring Training also serves to reunite and unify the minds and bodies of the many individual talents into what will become….again….a team. And like the lessons we learn from our own life experiences, we do not automatically become a part of the team unless and until we invest some sweat equity as an entry fee! It doesn’t matter if the team you seek to join is an athletic group, a club, or even a church.
Great teams become great because they combine the diverse talents and backgrounds from a group of equally diverse individuals, each of whom brings something very unique and special to the mix. That is what transforms ordinary into extraordinary! Which side will you choose? Do you want to remain singularly alone and ordinary or do you want to become part of something greater that yourself….something extraordinary?
No member of a group remains a part of it by simply sitting on their laurels. They must educate themselves about what the goals and purpose are for the group and then they must become active participants. You see, just like a baseball team is only as strong as its weakest player, the same can be said of a club or a congregation. So in thinking about the strength of your faith, are you secure in the knowledge that you have at least, a fundamental understanding as to what faith means and how we have arrived at the diverse collection of beliefs we have in today’s world?
If you are reading this post, you already have, at your fingertips, one of the greatest tools for discovering everything and anything you want to learn about the various religions of our world. The Internet! You can read chapters, verses or the entire volume of God’s handbook for living….the Bible. Enter any word, phrase or theme into your search engines, and you will find perhaps dozens of references. All there, right in front of you. But always remember that there is something to be said for beginning at the beginning and ending at the end, when you are seeking a greater understanding of something. If this appeals to your hunger to learn more, you may want to read His inspired word all of the way through, from beginning to end!
Genesis Chapter 1, Verse 1
1. א בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ.
1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Revelation Chapter 22, Verse 13
(I provided this Hebrew translation of the verse)
13. אני מאלף עד תו, את ההתחלה והסוף, הראשונה, האחרונה
13. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last
So why not make today the day you grow closer to God by learning more about the history of all religions, especially Christianity. We are all empowered with a hunger to learn new things…a gift from the Almighty, in fact. So assuage that hunger by discovering some things you never knew before! But always remember one thing. If you want to become part of the team, you must earn your place. The choice to go to Spring Training is entirely up to you!
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
1 Corinthians 12:17-20 NIV
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