It’s October and the Cards are in the playoffs… again. Or should I say… again!! Cardinal baseball in October means late nights, lots of cheering, and the non-stop buzzing of email, twitter, Facebook, and phone notifications, plus the early wake-up to watch the highlight reels on ESPN.
Everyone in my husband’s family is a Cardinal fan; their blood runs Cardinal red. I think it’s genetic; I married into it, my boys inherited it, and my grandsons are proof that it is a dominant trait.
I try to get excited about October baseball, but let’s be honest, while I enjoy watching my guys cheering, and obsessing over the Cards, I just don’t get it. At the risk of being excommunicated from the family, I confess that my fan status is not much more than lip service. I don’t have the same passion for the Cards that the rest of the Furrows do; my heart is just not in it.
My relationship with the Cardinals is a bit like the relationship some people have with the Lord God Almighty.
“They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.” – Isaiah 29:13 NLT
When it comes to the Cardinals, I am not a true fan, I am a spectator. Do you ever feel like that in church: You enjoy going, the message is great, the music is fantastic, and you like being with other Christians, but you feel like a spectator. You know that your participation is by rote: you do what you do because it’s what you’ve been trained to do – it’s mechanical; there’s no passion.
Unlike my boys, who basically had no choice whether or not to be Cardinal Fans, God gives us a choice whether or not to become a Christian.
Being a Christian is not automatic. Growing up in a Christian home doesn’t make you a Christian. Knowing the Bible, wearing Christian jewelry, or even decorating your home with Christian paraphernalia doesn’t make you a Christian.
You may go to church every Sunday, participate in ministries, and be involved in so many programs that you’re at church more than you’re at home but that doesn’t make you a Christian.
Becoming a Christian requires a choice. You must choose to believe the truth about Jesus…
“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” – Philippians 2:6-8 NLT
“Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to live in the Spirit.” – 1 Peter 3:18 NLT
And then you must take possession of the work that Jesus accomplished on your behalf. You must claim Jesus as your substitute. When you do, you are saved and brought into a right relationship with God. Then, like the Apostle Paul, your passion for God will overflow in ceaseless praise.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. – Romans 11:33-36
The choice is yours: Be a true Christian, or be a spectator.