Striving to improve?

I had planned to go the Battlefield District Volleyball Championship Game tonight with my daughter Lydia and her friend Jordan, but the game just got canceled because of the fear of bad weather.  No, the Caroline Highschool volleyball team and my daughter Lydia weren’t in the championship game. The game was being played rather between the young ladies of Chancellor and Courtland Highschool.  Lydia and her teammates have had a good season though and have made a whole lot of improvement. They were 5th in the District, their highest finish in a bunch of years. Why though would we spend another late night out watching volleyball?  Don’t we have something better to do?  (not really, our life is pretty boring)  Also, part of our wanting to go to the championship game is to begin to envision where Lydia and her teammates want to be next year. I’ve watched as her team and coach this year continue to strive to improve. One afternoon this week when I was picking up Lydia I watched the very end of practice. They were all working hard, listening, learning, trying to position themselves correctly on the floor.  Even though the season was almost over they were working hard trying to improve their skills and get better at the game. I was impressed!

Watching my daughter’s volleyball practice made me think about my own life of faith. Sitting on the bleachers I started asking myself, “Am I striving to improve, striving to be more faithful, striving to be a better servant of Jesus?” Some days I think I am. But then it is also easy to get complacent in our faith as well.  It is easy to think, what I’m doing is good enough. I am certainly doing enough to get by.  I’m certainly not as bad as……

Without a doubt our life in faith is marked by the amazing grace of Jesus Christ, who loves us just as we are and forgives our failures and our faults.  But Jesus doesn’t want us to simply be satisfied with being good enough either. Jesus isn’t impressed by our rationalizing and comparing ourselves to the lowest standard of discipleship. Striving to be a disciple of Jesus is not about doing enough to just get by. Rather like a good coach Jesus continue to push us to get better as a disciple. Jesus is continuing to push us to serve, to worship, to give, to sacrifice, to pray, to love and strive to give all of our life over to God and to know the joy that comes living in that close relationship with God.

Sitting on the hard bleachers I started asking myself, am I improving in my prayer life and my life of service and compassion towards others?  Am I getting better at being patient and expressing gratitude towards God and others?  I’ve been asking myself if the Fruits of the Spirit have been growing in my life or if everything is just stagnant?  Have I become satisfied with good enough?

I need to sit in on a few more volleyball practices and become inspired to envision being in the championship game and what that might look like as a disciple of Jesus.   Peace Charles

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