Incomplete metaphor alert. (I posted this this morning on a social media group. Thought some of y’all might like it.)

Baseball fans. Matt Harvey just became a sermon illustration.

Look, I get it. I don’t play baseball or work in it, so I could be totally wrong, but as soon as they let a him pitch the 9th, honestly (not lying) I was tired and went to bed, expecting to see “Royals win in 10th” on my news feed this morning (it was the 12th, so I was wrong there).

I don’t care about how passionate you are about your abilities in this moment… life is usually a team sport (Ministry, at its best, most certainly is this), and the team around you gets to assess where you can and can’t be most effective. And when you allow your emotion and passion to cloud your judgment and even those around you… bad things can happen.

Over the years, on a number of occasions, I’ve talked with folks who thought they were called to ministry full-time, riding on a wave of emotion of “God’s call on their lives” and behind my eyes as I listened patiently, I prayed that somehow they would change their mind, because I knew (and probably others did) that this was all emotion and not ability and calling (sometimes DEFINITELY not their calling). (BTW, I know some people who don’t think they’re called to ministry… yet… who I think are… so there’s that, too…)

Some of you are called into full-time ministry, for life or for a season. When you get a confirmation, and direction and fine-tuning on that calling, from those around you, it’s a glorious thing. I promise you.

Some of you that might manage to land a full-time job in a church somewhere are probably… not… called to it… You know how you know the difference? When you don’t have the confirmation of the church around you, when you don’t manage to allow others to help you define your calling (there are things that others know about you that you don’t… shocker!), when you barrel ahead and demand the ball in the top of the 9th based on pure emotion… and someone actually gives it to you because you’ve made it the path of least resistance for them by your confidence…

…your team might be going home for the season…

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