Written by: John Sernaque
By the time I was approximately ten years old, my relationship with my father was estranged. We did not speak much at all. We had no emotional connection. Though we lived in the same house, we were like two ships in the night. It was not the type of relationship a father and son should have. Rather, it was a total lack of a relationship that I experienced. As years continued to pass, there was a time during my High School years whereby I played in an organized baseball league. My team made it to the championship game. I was standing out in my position in center field when I saw, what at first, I couldn’t believe. My father was among the spectators near the third base side of the field. This was unprecedented, my father had not come to a single game before this. My mother, or one of my siblings, must have let him know what a big day this was. I had a sense of excitement. The other teams leadoff batter walked, so he was now on first base. After taking a ball and a strike, their next batter lined a single up the middle towards me in center field. I charged the ball and saw their runner round second base heading towards third base. I picked up the ball barehanded and threw a perfect strike from centerfield to our third baseman. Their runner slid into third base and was tagged out. The roar of the crowd followed, but what I will never forget was watching my father throw his arms into the air with the biggest smile on his face. At that moment, I realized that my father did care about me and was pleased that I was his son. He was proud of me. I didn’t really care about what other’s thought. It didn’t give me a sense of pride. All that mattered was knowing that my father cared.
To be clear, I am not condoning or encouraging kids to participate in organized sports. Too many a parent push their children into sports, that they may vicariously live out their childhood dreams of becoming a professional athlete. This robs the children of their time to become the individual that God purposed them to be. It takes the children’s and the parent’s time away from God, which is exactly Satan’s plan. Without realizing it, they are serving Satan, and one cannot serve two masters. No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Luke 16:13. These are the wiles of Satan, his subtleness, his craftiness. Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Genesis 3:1. We all need exercise, but not to the lengths that children are pushed for the sake of fame and glory. After all, it was pride that was the downfall of Satan. Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, [and] the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. Isaiah 14:11-15. Satan wanted to be like the Most High, and in so doing, lost his position in Heaven, and eventually will be the scapegoat that will take sin into its end.
All of this does not only apply to sports; it applies to any profession. It is God that works through us. We do not do anything by our own strength. God’s talents are His gift to us as we serve God’s purposes, and not mans. It is not ours, but it is God’s will that must be done. It is God’s character that must be perfected in us. If we allow pride and craftiness to govern our attitude and disposition towards others, we are not exemplifying His character. God hates pride. The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Proverbs 8:13. We must have the fear of the Lord. It is God’s level of perfection, not mans, that we are to strive for. If one is not careful, one may put oneself on the road to perdition with Satan and become one of the lost in this world. It does not matter how many hours of Bible study you may have, if you are prideful and die lost, not in Christ, you will have the same fate as Satan. One has to make sure that they are practicing what they are preaching. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 2 Corinthians 4:5. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. Acts 5:42. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15. Jesus did not teach and preach with pride and arrogance. He did not try to brow beat the people into submission by condemnation. Jesus came humbly to this world, not to condemn, but that by through Him the world may be saved. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:17.
Let us do as Jesus and humble ourselves and never think of asking the question as to “who is the greatest.” At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:1-6. Let go of your sinful pride, arrogance, and craftiness. Look to The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit as your master. When you examine yourself, see that it is Christ Jesus inside of you and not your sinful, prideful, arrogant self. Allow the Holy Spirit to be poured upon you, as the disciples did in the upper room after coming together under one accord. Will you welcome an upper room experience in your life? Will you be a true disciple and apostle of Christ Jesus? I pray that you will.