Daily Devotionals

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

By Clif Johnson, Pastor
Garrett Memorial Baptist Church
Hope, AR

I must admit, I turn into a kid when I walk up to a major league baseball stadium. I love everything about it—the smells, the sights, the announcer, the crowds, the lights. All of it gives me goosebumps, because all of it points to the baseball game.

Several years ago my family and I were able to watch two major league games in one week. We attended Nationals’ Park in D.C. and watched the Nationals play the Dodgers. We also scurried over to Philly to see the Phillies play the Oakland Athletics. After watching both of those games, I am concerned. Very concerned.

My concern is not with the game or the players. My concern is with the fans. While sitting there engrossed in each game, at each park I was surrounded by people who were concerned about other things. At the Nationals’ game two guys behind me talked incessantly–about their hardships at work, or with their families or girlfriend. Not all of it was negative. They talked about positive things going on in their lives as well. But they rarely paid attention to what was going on in front of them on the field—the very reason they supposedly paid big bucks to sit in a stadium with lights pointing down on the green grass.

In front of us at the Nationals’ game were people who spent more time going back and forth to the concession stand to spend boo coos of money on drinks, nachos, and hot dogs. Now I love a good concession stand, and there is nothing quite as delicious as nacho cheese at the ballpark. But once again, why spend all the money and miss the main attraction of the game?

In Philadelphia we attended a day game. The sun was out in full force. A mom and dad were behind me with their two young children in tow. “Alright! They are going to teach them early about the game!” Yeah right. Those kids sat on the ground playing on their tablets the whole time. About five rows in front of us, which was down the first base line, a fan got smacked in the cranium with a line drive foul ball because he wasn’t paying attention to the game!

WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING?! The baseball game is out there! Everything around you points to the game—the organ, the scoreboard, the lights! Why are you here if you won’t watch the game?! Every time I hollered at the umps or cheered for the home team, people around me looked up from their phones as if I was the odd one.

It kinda reminded of how some approach the corporate worship service. Why do you go to the corporate worship service? To network? Socialize? Talk about everything going on in your life? The coffee bar?

Please don’t miss the main attraction. The main attraction is God, revealed to us in Jesus. If you go for any other reason, you are missing it. God has made himself known to us. God, in all of His glory and grace, has come down to us to accomplish and secure redemption on behalf of the believer. He is the show. His glory is the spotlight and it falls upon Himself. He takes center stage!

So, this weekend, go to a bible-preaching, Jesus-exalting church service. Focus your mind and heart upon Him. Be ready to hear from His word and be stirred by His Spirit. But don’t look away. You may end up like the guy five rows in front of me the other day.

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