I’m a substitute teacher and just recently had a long-term job as a PE teacher. It was tough, one of the toughest jobs I’ve had. I had to dig deep into my faith to keep my spirits up and not become incredibly frustrated.
The hardest part was seeing the complete lack of interest from many of the students. They didn’t want to follow directions, they didn’t care about participating—they just wanted to hang out and talk to their friends.
As I was inputting grades and weighing their participation against the grading scale, I realized exactly WHY God feels so strongly about lukewarm Christians.
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16 NIV
Not only was it offensive to me that the students didn’t want to participate in a required activity, but often their disengagement was a dangerous liability.
Who do you think is more likely to get hurt? A student who is actively engaged in a volleyball game, facing the action on court, knees bent, hands in position to set or bump or spike? Or, is it the cluster of students who are chatting, playing with each others’ hair, and completely unaware that a volleyball may be hurling directly at them?
It seems pretty obvious to me that the group who is NOT participating is more likely to be hurt because they are not defending themselves at all.
So it is in our spiritual lives. If we are not in the Word, if we are not fellowshipping regularly with other believers, if we are not involved in missions, if we are not giving to further the cause of Christ, if we are not actively participating, then we ARE endangering our spiritual lives. We have been told that we have an enemy prowling around looking for a foothold into our hearts, and by sitting back and not participating in our journey with God, we are just making ourselves easy targets.
The students thought that by standing on the court and by being dressed in their PE uniforms they were participating. They were sadly mistaken. And when they saw their participation grades, they were not pleased.
How many of us will meet God face to face and learn that what we THOUGHT was participation was NOT?
How many of us actually think that just “showing up” is going to keep us safe in the volleyball game of life?
How many of us are actually making ourselves vulnerable to the Enemy by trying to coast though life?
Let me rephrase that, because, many or most of us who read this blog are parents of children with special needs and there is NO coasting through life.
How many of us believe that we should be given a doctor’s note to be able to “sit out” of the game because we already have it hard enough?
Maybe God should let us take this class as pass/fail?
God’s not going to do that. He wants to be the source of our strength which means we NEED to be stretching ourselves. We NEED to be volunteering. We NEED to be giving. We NEED to be stepping out of our comfort zone.
I don’t know what that looks like in YOUR life, but here’s what I do know.
I don’t want to be a lukewarm Christian.
I don’t want to be spit out by God at the end of my life.
I don’t want to just pass this class. I want to leave it all out there on the court.