Slide, Christian, Slide!
Baseball has an overlooked play if the spectator is one who merely accompanies a friend to the local park softball game. The slide. When my son was in high school he decided to try his skills at baseball. I remember the alarm bells sounding in my head the day he came home and said, “Coach taught us how to slide today.” Well, there is a right way, a wrong way, and all slides look dangerous to me. They are dangerous. Due to many injuries at homeplate, the professional rules changed this year. The catcher now must position himself in front of the plate. Catchers are prime positions for runners doing their best to beat the ball in order to score.
Some slides are head first, some feet first, and others on sides; they all involve risk. Then, there are the fielders who slide. They dive, roll, and even do sitting slides in order to capture a fly ball. They leave the spectators bug-eyed when the glove comes up with the ball snuggly held. Were the windows open, the neighbors might wonder if I have an attacker! Well, I never can watch a game quietly.
Risk. It is more than a board game. It is more than the thrill of watching a practiced, expert in a baseball game. What will I risk for the cause of Christ? It costs—saying something or being silent in conversation when it turns to the Bible. Speaking up in a cubeville office may risk a reprimand from the boss. Some students have been suspended from school because they dared to silently bow the head in a prayer of thanks before eating in the cafeteria. We risk ridicule for standing on a corner with a political sign supporting the candidate of our choice particularly if the candidate is a bold pro-life, freedom of speech, freedom of religion believer.
Without hesitation the player my decide: slide, or not, and be pronounced out, or let the ball safely drop and let the runner take a double? The professional players do what it takes, or be sent to the showers, or home. The Believing Christian should do no less than to speak for the name of Christ.
“Thou therefore, endure hardness as a good soldier. . .” II Timothy 2:3 expresses the attitude held by those who are willing to take the risk of carrying the gospel to a workplace, school, recreation center, and neighborhood. Slide, Christian, Slide!