UNPACK this

Make Baseball Fun Again

Published on July 13, 2016 | By
The MLB season is at its midpoint, and last night they celebrated their sport with the annual All-Star Game. One of the biggest young stars in the sport is Bryce Harper from the Washington Nationals. He’s hitting the ball well, and his team is looking to make a playoff run this year. What I appreciate about Harper is his willingness to be vocal about infusing baseball with energy and personality. This season he's putting into action a “Make Baseball Fun Again” campaign, which many fans seem to be backing. I am one of those fans who buys into the idea that players should continue playing in a way that encourages fun for everyone. If players are out there enjoying themselves, while playing hard, the fans will have fun too. I recognize that competing at the highest level in sports isn't easy, and the process isn't always delightful with all of the struggles and pressure. But with the proper perspective, athletes can still find joy and fun throughout the journey. I believe we can have a similar mentality as followers of Jesus, and often wonder why people think that following Jesus isn’t fun. I admit there are many challenges in obeying God’s Word and living in this crazy world, but there is also great joy when we pursue Him. The struggles and pressures may still be there, but with the proper perspective, seeking the Lord and living for Him is fun! It’s a blast when you see God show up in miraculous ways…or watch Him transform lives around you…or witness His answers to long-awaited prayers. When we take advantage of the opportunity to obey Jesus fully, we experience many blessings along the way, and stepping out in faith becomes an enjoyable journey. Psalm 119:14-16 (NLT) says, I have rejoiced in Your laws as much as in riches. I will study Your commandments and reflect on Your ways. I will delight in Your decrees and not forget Your Word.” When we find our satisfaction and enjoyment in Jesus, our life begins to look different, and we view obedience and struggles through a special lens. Too many people think He wants to take away their fun, but that’s just not true. Following Jesus is a delight, not a burden. I hope today we can make following Jesus fun again and embrace the wonderful life He has in store for us. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that! PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to remember that true life is found in Jesus. Teach me not to get caught up in viewing obedience as a burden, but instead realize how much fun it is to follow Jesus on the incredible path set out for me. Show me how to even enjoy the struggles along the journey. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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