June 9, 2016, 1:21 PM

When The Game Is On The Line-Lessons From Courtney Shea

It’s the Women’s College World Series. It’s the last inning. There are two outs and you are down by one run. It’s the last game of the Championship Series. It’s all on the line.  You’re called to pinch hit. Imagine the pressure!

Imagine what Courtney Shea felt as Auburn Head Softball Coach Clint Myers looks at her and tells her to go bat with everything on the line. He had confidence in her. The Auburn fans are on their feet and with her and cheering her on. The camera zoomed in on her face and you could see the determination in her eyes. It was evident that she was going up there to not shy away and take pitches but to hit. She took many swings and fouled them off. Finally, she hits the ball hard to second base and gets thrown out at first. Game over. Oklahoma is the 2016 softball champions.

I truly enjoyed watching most every game in the Women’s College World Series. There were some very exciting moments. But this moment was not exciting. It broke my heart to see Courtney walking across the field to her dug out amid Oklahoma’s celebration embraced by her coach and crying her eyes out. Even more heartbreaking was seeing Courtney pointing to herself saying “my fault” as she made her way to her teammates. No, it was not her fault. She was not the only player on her team to ground out or make a mistake. In my book she is a winner. She’s a winner because she went to the plate with everything on the line, with every intention to win and gave it her very best shot. The only way she could have failed is to have made up an excuse and not go bat or not even swing.

This was a picture of what’s at stake for every Christian. We have marching orders from our Lord to “go to bat” and  “ to go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I’ve commanded you” Matthew 28:19-20. Everything is literally on the line because eternity literally hangs in the balance for those around us who so desperately need to hear the Gospel message.

God looks at you and tells you to go share the Good News of Jesus Christ with someone in your realm of influence. The pressure is on. It’s all on the line. But you don’t go. You stay in the dugout. You’re afraid of failure. What if I don’t say the right thing? What if they reject it? The problem is you don’t understand that this is not about you or your success. It’s about being obedient to your Heavenly Father who has full confidence in you to do the task. The only way you can fail in evangelism is to fail to go. The harvest is His! The “win” is His!

The next time God calls you out to go to share Christ with a lost person, are you going to stay in the dugout or go out and swing with all your might and leave the results to God? Yes, it takes courage but remember the only way to fail is to not go at all. There’s more on the line than a softball game. It’s eternity for someone. The Holy Spirit is with you and is cheering you on. What will you do?  Thank you Courtney Shea for being a true champion by demonstrating courage under pressure and giving your best. Now child of God, get out there and swing for the fences for the Lord!

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