Baseball is in the air in the Shenandoah Valley! The Strasburg Rams are playing for state championship against Virginia High School. Athletics is important to many people, including many Christians. That is fine. I am listening to the game as I write this. It is fine as long as it does not interfere with our service to God.
But, did you know that athletics is mentioned in the Bible? Paul mentions racing in 1 Corinthians 9:24: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?” Then he gives the spiritual application: “So run, that ye may obtain.” In the next verse he alludes to various games such as wrestling or boxing, in the phrase, “striveth for the mastery,” that is, agonizes to win. “is temperate in all things.” He makes the spiritual application:”Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” In verse 26 he sets himself forth as an example: “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air,” that is not as one that merely shadow boxes.
Paul concludes in verse 27: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” Or, as the New King James Version renders it,, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
The Rams and Bear Cats have striven to hone their baseball skills all season. Now they put forth their best efforts to win. Are you striving to win the greatest crown – heaven?