You Know What We Get to Do Today?

1 Jun

The baseball movie The Rookie is classic Disney . . . a lot of sweet sentimentality wrapped in a heroic story about beating the odds. Somehow, the folks at Disney are so good at telling their “based on a true story” stories that we are still gripped by them even though we know the outcome before the opening credits even roll.

One of the best storytelling moments in The Rookie comes when Jim Morris (played by Dennis Quaid) is at his lowest point. Morris was a 38 year-old high school baseball coach who had been a major league prospect in his youth before injuring his pitching arm. While throwing batting practice to his high school team, Morris realizes that he throws harder as a 38 year-old than he threw when he was a prospect. Morris’ team recognizes his gift and makes a deal with him that if they make the state playoffs Morris has to try out with a major league team. They do and he does and of course he is offered a chance to make it in the big leagues with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Morris has to begin in the minors, where he is befriended by a young, budding superstar named Brooks. But Morris misses home. He is struggling on the mound. He is just about ready to give it up and go back to Texas. But then heading back to his hotel one night, he happens to spot a little league game. He stands at the outfield fence and takes in the pleasure the young players have in the game. Watching these boys running around the field changes Morris’ perspective. He realizes he loves baseball and the opportunity to play is a gift. The next day, this is what Morris says when he enters the locker room (my favorite scene in the movie) . . .

“We get to play baseball.” I have often reflected on how this perspective was a turning point for Morris. When baseball became a duty, a goal to be achieved, a paycheck to cash, there was little motivation, low performance and emotional darkness. But when Morris got caught up in the joy of what he is doing, his life soared.

Now here’s the reason I am writing about all this. It is Sunday morning. Many people out there feel about church the way Morris felt about baseball when he was toiling away in the minors. They are burned out, tired, attracted by the prospects of just staying home. Church seems like a burden rather than a blessing. But I want to say to you this morning . . . “You know what we get to do today?” We get to gather to worship God with our brothers and sisters in Christ! Church is not what we HAVE to do, it is what we GET to do. It is a joy and privilege to worship with fellow believers: to sing, to pray, to talk, to listen.

Maybe somebody made you mad and you are embittered. Maybe you have questions about God that you just can’t seem to answer. Maybe you are just in a dry spell in your life. Whatever the case, I pray this morning that you would recapture the joy of worship with God’s people.

You know what we get to do today? We get to go to church. Go worship with a local church today.

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