All In

all in

By Pastor Paula Burchill

Have you been watching the Mariners?  I went to the game last Friday and as we were walking my almost 15 year old son said, “Mom, this is the first time I’ve been to a Mariners game when they are good!”

It has been very hard to be a Mariners fan!  Understandably, many people are reluctant to jump in and start getting excited because of the countless times the team has ended up disappointing us in the past.  One of my friends even apologized in advance for buying her husband a Mariners shirt for Father’s Day.  “If I end up jinxing them, I’m sorry!”  Needless to say, many fans are nervous about daring to hope.

I was listening to 710 ESPN radio, and one of their hosts, Danny O’Neil was talking about how a lot of fans are approaching the team with trepidation, and how he had been too.  Kind of like how when you want to go swimming, but first you just sort of dip your toe in the water.  Then you get in up to your knees, taking your time getting used to it before taking the plunge.

Danny said he’s done with that.  He has plugged his nose, leaped off the side and just jumped in—all in.

It’s easier in a lot of ways to take a more cautious approach.  When I was young, I always jumped in without getting used to the water. Not now—now I tend to take the slow and cautious approach.

But not with the Mariners.  I’m all in.  That game Friday was the best game I have ever been to and I almost lost my voice.  They may end up not making the play offs, but this team is fun and entertaining and they seem to just like each other and playing baseball.  I love it.

This got me thinking about God.  What if God’s approach to us was to just sort of be a little bit involved with us?  To be cautious and to make sure we would not disappoint him before he threw his lot in with us.  Thankfully God’s approach is just the opposite.

When God came to the earth in the person of Jesus Christ, he was all in.  When he created the world, he was all in.  He said, I’m going to make these people, I’m going to give them freedom, and that means they will disappoint me, but that is ok.  I’m going to give my whole self to forgive them and keep on giving them new chances, because I’m so all in, that I actually NEED them to get my work done in the world.

It’s pretty amazing.  And maybe even helpful for more than just baseball.  Am I all in on the people in my life?  Or do I hold back for fear of being disappointed.  The thing is that I really believe life is better in community if we just go all in and root for each other and know that things might not work out and we will be disappointed at times, but we can still love each other.  Because the alternative—never going to a game.  Never letting yourself get excited?  No thanks!

So my challenge for myself and you today is—is there an area of your life in which you are holding back?  Where do you need to go all in?  Then just go ahead and take the plunge.

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