This morning my dad and I are headed out on a 24-hour road trip to St. Louis. We hope the rain will hold off long enough for us to see our beloved Cardinals take on the New York Mets. The Cardinals are in first place at the moment, but we planned this trip before the season even began.
You see, we are fans. We keep up with the schedule and the statistics. We pay extra to get all the games on television. We have favorite players and we remember great moments from past games. We wear baseball caps with the team logo and we follow the team with apps on our phones. We enjoy talking about the team and are quick to boast about our World Series titles and our all-star players. When we see other people in Cardinal gear, we feel an instant bond. We are familiar with past Cardinal heroes and we are always looking for the next Gibson, Smith, or Pujols. We spend a lot of time, energy, and resources in following our team. We invest in each game, each player, and each season. We love the game and everyone that knows us well knows we love our team.
When we consider our lives, what do we value? What do we spend our time, our money, our energy on? Do we spend more time invested in things that are passing away or more time invested in things that are eternal? Just as I am recognized as a fan of one particular baseball team, I hope I am also recognized as someone who is living my life for Christ. Practically speaking, do I spend as much time studying God's Word as I do watching sports or pursuing my hobbies? Do people recognize me as a follower of Jesus Christ or would my faith come as a surprise to them? Do I feel a connection to others who claim to be under the influence of Jesus? Is it apparent to all who know me that I am trying to serve God with all that I have? Are my heroes men and women of faith? Do I look for opportunities to bring Christ into conversation and to tell the wonderful things that God has done for me?
It would be a terrible thing to come to the end of life and for people to remark, "I knew he loved baseball (or hunting or his kids or his work), but I never knew he was all that serious about Jesus Christ." We need to be more excited about our faith than we are about our teams, our families, our work, and our hobbies. We need to be committed to shining Christ's light and His love to everyone we meet. I want to be more than a casual fan of Jesus Christ; I want to be a follower that loves spending time with my Lord.