I’ve never been a huge basketball fan. Since high school when I’d go watch my buddies play, my time as a spectator of that sport probably hasn’t amounted to more than a few hours. It’s just not my thing.
I suppose part of my problem is that I was lousy at the sport. Had I been better at it, I may have taken more interest in it. There’s something about investing our time that heightens our appreciation and awareness for almost anything.
As it is, the only basketball I’ll see this month will probably be by accident. If I walk into someone’s home and they have a game tuned in, I’ll undoubtedly see a few minutes. Otherwise, I’ll be tuned out. My bracket is empty, and so is my basketball acumen.
The Hunger Games
On the other hand, I’m a baseball guy. When I was a kid, I ate, drank, and slept baseball. I played the game every chance I got. If there was no one else around, I would throw a rubber-coated baseball against a cement block wall and play catch with myself.
My hunger for that sport was insatiable. When it was too dark outside to play, I was scouring the TV guide for an MLB game or a program about the players. To say the least, I was invested. Any leisure moment I had was all baseball, all the time. I even became an umpire in my early adult years.
Consequently, my March Madness was Spring Training baseball. It’s not nearly as mad as basketball in March. In fact, it’s quite laid back. Still, I was eager to see how my team was doing every day.
My passion for the game has since ebbed a bit. I still love it, but I’ve been able to place it into a much healthier perspective. The years of investing my time, however, will never allow me to give it up.
“We stand naked before our Creator.”
Investing time is an amazing phenomenon. If we don’t know anything about a subject, investing our time in it can easily turn us around. Before long, we can become experts, and our passion for it can swell to immense proportions.
Jesus understood this about us. He told us on more than one occasion that we should invest in the Kingdom of God. He knew if we would give of ourselves to his cause, we would become deeply devoted. It just makes sense.
I, like you, have many earthly investments—baseball, 401k, houses, cars, et.al. But as sure as death and taxes, we will soon have to divest from all these things. Someone else will inherit them (one way or another), and we will be face to face with the God who made us. Our investments will not follow us as we stand naked before our Creator.
It is then that the time we’ve devoted to the things of God will become most apparent. It’s then that the return on our investment will become clear. All the madness will be turned to pure joy.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently the pastor of Smith Chapel, in Great Falls, VA.]