The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. –2 Peter 3:9
I’ve heard that one of the most difficult things to do in professional sports is to hit a baseball. The hand-eye coordination that is required to hit a ball that is speeding towards you is beyond what other sports ask of the human body. Sure, you may run more and be hit more in other sports, but purely from a getting all the synapses to fire in the right way so that your brain communicates quickly enough to your hands what your eyes are seeing, standing at home plate is a challenging place to be. Add on top of that that everyone else’s eyes are watching you to see how you will perform, it’s quite the pressure cooker.
It’s easy to feel the same way about sharing our faith.
We wonder if we’ll be able to recall just the right Scripture verse in order to answer the person’s question.
We ponder whether our mental acuity will be up to the rigorous questioning.
We’re fearful about what people who are watching us will think when we “strike out.”
So it’s tempting to want to call a time-out and to walk away from the plate.
But we need not feel this way.
After all, as Scripture tells us and my pastor often reminds us the reason Jesus hasn’t returned is because there are still some who need to be saved. So just as the baseball player must approach the plate fully expecting to accomplish what their coach wants, so when we share the Gospel we should do so expecting that it will be received. After all, God has promised that there are still some people out there who will receive it, and He has given us the privilege of being a part of bringing that work to fruition.
If a baseball player approached home plate concentrating on all the things that could go wrong, they likely wouldn’t be a very good batter. Instead, they must rely on their training and their God-given abilities, concentrating on what they know they should do, rather than the challenges inherent in doing so. They must walk to the plate expecting a hit. And so should we.