Miguel Cabrera has a career batting average of .310 – and is on the fast track to the Hall of Fame. Ty Cobb – perhaps the GOAT of hitting – had a career average of .366. You can find the figures for Hank Arron’s career on your own. This week I went one for three – much closer to Cabrera than Cobb … but certainly nowhere close to God’s standard of 1.000!
As I suppose you already guessed, I have not been playing baseball this week (If I were, I more likely would have been “0 for 3”). Instead, I am speaking of new individuals from the community around our church with whom I spoke either inside or just outside the building. I listened attentively as each one told their story. I gave them, at least, close to adequate time to feel cared for. But I only shared the Gospel with one of them.
And, if I truly believe Romans 10.17, which is under my name when I send out emails, this means that I struck out with two of the three. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” And I have supporting evidence to my theory.
I asked for, and received, email addresses from all three (I won’t talk about the one phone number given me: 248-586-313). I tried sending emails to the first two – even re-interpreting their handwriting three different ways – but every one was returned to me saying “no such email address.” However, number three – the one with whom I opened the Bible – not only did my email not bounce back at me, but I also actually received a response of appreciation.
Then Wednesday morning we were discussing Romans 1. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth.” (Romans 1.18) Could it be, someone suggested, that when we fail to share the Gospel with someone … when we ‘whiff’ as I did two out of three times … we may well be guilty of “suppressing the truth”! Ouch – that hurts! Here God is sending three people to me with ears primed to hear the truth, and I let him down by batting only one for three.
Later in the day I was sitting in the waiting room at the VA hospital after giving someone a ride there. No-one came up to me, nor did I notice an opportunity for me to approach anyone, so I simply sat there, keeping myself busy and observant. One thing I did, though, was pray for each individual who walked by – thanking God for their service and praying for the Holy Spirit to bless them in Christ Jesus. While I felt like I was not “suppressing the truth”, it also meant that I was “0 for 0” – never even getting off the bench!
On Thursdays as we are reading through Ephesians, we keep returning to the theme verse. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 1.3) This blessing activity in our lives takes place in our baptism, and then continues throughout our lives. The bible is clear when it tells us that God does not hold back from blessing us. We have all that we need, and a whole lot more. And then he simply asks us to share with others what he has so generously given to us.
Of all those blessings generously given to us, one of the most valuable is the Truth. Yet, even when God led people who were hungering for it right up to our doorstep, I only shared it with one out of three! Talk about “ungodly and unrighteous” behavior – I went two for three in “suppressing the truth” … and you know what kind of batting average this is – .666!
As there is only one who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14.6), so there is only one hope for the world. His name is Jesus and, as I mentioned earlier, “Faith comes through hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10.17) Things will never get any better around here if I keep going one for three … except of course, if you and everyone else in God’s batting order picks up where I am lacking!