Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mary, Martha, Baseball, and Me

I haven't written a blog post in several days for a few different reasons. Namely, that I've been gone to another camp (my third camp of the summer), and am currently involved with our church's Vacation Bible School. Next week, I will be heading off to my last camp of the summer. Being called into youth ministry, busy summers seem to be just part of the deal that "comes with the territory". I mean for 91/2 months of the year we "compete" with school, band, sports, scouts, one act play, UIL academics, and all other things that are connected to a life in public education. So summer is a time when kids theoretically have more time to devote to other things--such as church and spiritual development.

I've been doing some reading, though, and have realized that summer, although free of school, is still summer and is a time to be relaxed, laid back, and should be a time to refresh? So why do I feel like a Martha running around like a headless chicken trying to teach kids how to be like Mary? In our youth group, we have scaled down our Bible study times on the week's we've met and haven't met at all when we were gone to church camp or one of our missions camps. So how can I stay refreshed in the midst of being gone so much and being so busy week after week? Well, here's what I've found that seems to work.

My wife and I love Texas Rangers baseball. This has been a really good season for the team that has never made it past the first round of the playoffs. At one point they were in first place in their division, and 5 games ahead of the LA Angels. June wasn't a good month, though, and it's taking them a while to hit their stride again. The biggest issue for the Rangers seems to be getting hits with runners in scoring position. At one time this season they hit 14 solo home runs in a row. In order to win games, they have to get their hits with runners on bases. After all, the game is won on runs, not hits. This means that baseball is a game of timing.

For me, this summer, I've tried really hard to embrace the time I have at home with family. I also have tried to spend less time at the office when I'm not away at camp. We took a great vacation this summer and it has helped me stay connected to my family and to God. Capitalizing on opportunities is what has kept me going. If we are in the service of the King, I think there are times where we will inevitably be like Martha and that's not necessarily bad. What we have to do, though, is make sure we have time to spend on the things that matter most and that we make the most of those opportunities.

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