27 January, 2010

God's Utility Player

"Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work..."                   Titus 3:1 NKJV

Paul is writing to Titus, instructing him as he builds the church in Crete. Out of this letter comes this statement reminding the Cretans to be prepared for good work.
What does this mean to be ready?
Leading bible study a week ago, I had a member really hit this verse home. Here is an abridged version of what we found:

If we are able to see our Christian life as a baseball game and followers as players, then there would be many who are "called" to certain specific positions: apostles, preachers, prophets, workers of miracles, ect (1 Corinthians 12). These positions would be distinct and individual. As a 1st baseman is chosen for his skill at scooping a poorly thrown ball from the dirt, a prophet may be chosen specifically for his skill (granted by God) at rhetoric. As a catcher is often a combination of honed skills paired with an ability to lead the rest of the team while following the coach; so an apostle is identical,...only seen as the lead sheep following the Great Shepherd.

On the ball diamond we find nine players. They have trained day-in and day-out for one specific position...and they gather the praise...they have the lime light. That position is what they were created for, and they do it well. But, as spectators watch the game unfold in front of them, they are so often blind to another member of the team. The player with the U placed to the right of his name on the line-up card. The Utility Player. For a moment let's take the lime light and cast it on this ballplayer.

The utility player, not trained in a specific position daily often lacks the claim to being the best at any one thing. Even so, his attitude, his willingness to help in all places whenever needed, his desire to bring his team a win regardless of self glory, these things make him a player! He is the glue. His coach knows that if a fellow player has injury or another misfortune happens, he has a solid replacement, the job will get done. The utility player desires to serve. He is "ready for any good work".
"Centerfield? Yes.", 
"2nd? Sure.",
"Bullpen? Can do coach!"
"Run with the pitchers? You got it."

Not all the glory by any means. In fact no glory at all. But, is this not what makes him the greatest of all? His willingness to hold up the rest and point to another?
Is this not what is meant by this passage?

Even when we are key players on the field (preachers and teachers), we still have times that we will be a utility player. Times when we will be ask to do the jobs without any glory, times when we have to help another when we would rather run full speed ahead. I have little doubt that this is what Paul was saying, "Remind them to be ready for all possible opportunities to help the team. Remind them to be utility players."When Coach says,
"Love the unlovable.",
"Reach the unreached."
"Give in kindness."
"Speak to 'that' guy."
"Give to 'that' group."
What will your answer be?

In this game of life, as a Christian, as one who seeks Him. Will you rise to every opportunity; to give Him glory, to point to Him, to win others to His kingdom? Will you chose to serve Him as His utility player?


Merl said...

Great reminder, Bradley. I think sometimes we view ourselves as insignificant as far as furthering the kingdom of God simply because we aren't called to full-time ministry; at least I know I do at times. You've reminded us that we are all "key players" in furthering His kingdom. I think a utility player always remembers that they may be the only Jesus some people ever see; we should never waste an opportunity to be such a player.

Merl said...

Yes, I'm a blog fan now...thank you. ;)

OklahomaBrad said...

Thanks Merl!

OklahomaBrad said...

In case anyone wondered.

The catcher is my brother. I have been missing him and wish I could see him more often.

Love ya, Clay.