The Rest of The Way Posts

CONFINED TO THE DUGOUT?
Sunday, March 27, 2022 by Leo

I seem to have more than a few friends sitting on the bench behind the fence rather than out on life's playing field. Are you one of them who complains they are “under house arrest” or shut-in? Or canceled from an active witness for the Lord?

Some are laid aside due to illness, surgery, or are going through chemo. Age eventually sidelines many of us. Some retired voluntarily, some have lost their position to younger people. Some find themselves in assisted living residences separated from their accustomed surroundings. Some are sidelined with grief and loss through bereavement or divorce or broken relationships. Others are out of the workforce because of the economic downturn.

Some of us are forced into inactivity by circumstances, like the Apostle Paul in his final years who spent two years under house arrest while awaiting trial in Rome. He also endured prison confinement during the previous two years in Caesarea. Continually being canceled. God, the Waymaker, gave Paul an open door while the powers that be tried to stifle his witness by incarceration.

Why are we so surprised when life seems to go right on without us? Somehow we don't expect the sun to keep shining brightly and days to go on so normally. Secretly we may not want people to manage well without our involvement. How can people walk so capably in our shoes as soon as we take them off? Being sidelined is often a blow to our identity and self-esteem. We are not sure who we are anymore if we have spent a lifetime being known solely by our role, our job, or position in life.

Apparently, many of us in our advanced years have viewed ourselves as the center of our particular universe, the hub of our family's wheel, the indispensable one in our career or in ministry. People have flattered us by reinforcing our indispensable image. “I don't know how we can ever do without you. No one can take your place.” Do we really believe them?

Most of us need to confess that we think the indispensable mask looks attractive on us. We thrive on our self-importance. To have our mask removed by our being laid aside in some way, retired, or removed from our accustomed position of prominence, strips a veneer from us that actually was unbecoming. Its removal may be beneficial. There are collateral benefits from our bench warming.

The Scriptures caution us not to hold an exaggerated or puffed-up opinion of ourselves. Puffiness indicates ill health physically as well as spiritually. It's a costly ego trip we can't afford to take. “Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ's Body.” We are all parts of it, and it takes everyone to make it complete. We each have different work to do and God's time and season assigned in which to do it. We belong to each other, and each needs all the others” (Romans 12:3 TLB).

Paul was in Rome, aged and aware of being near the end of his life course. (2 Peter 1:14) Soon other believers would take over his leadership place. He was not indispensable. He had discipled others well to carry forward the Jesus Torch of Faith. For ourselves, having to sit on the sidelines for whatever reason while someone else stars in the game which we played so well, tends to deflate our exaggerated self. We simply need to see ourselves realistically. Time sitting on the bench shows us that we can't be the leading player forever and that everything won't fall apart without us. If people continue to depend only on our performance and prominence in any aspect of life, it is sure to stunt their emotional, mental, and surely spiritual growth.

We are replaceable when God's time comes for others to take over. The places we occupied so well seem to close up behind us as they are capably filled by others. We are all frail, mortal, and terminal in the sense of not being able to play any role in life permanently. Each of us is God's special instrument or channel, unique and important to the Lord, but not indispensable. From our position on the bench let's cheer every Body Team member out on the field doing a great job and not be jealous because they are wearing our uniform, helmet, and number.

Our Divine Coach may still have a position for us in the final quarter of our life game. So we should keep in good shape spiritually and available to the Lord. He'll decide our position on His Body Team and call on us when He needs us. If not on the field, perhaps among other bench-warmers in the hidden dugout out of the public eye.

Or freely to visitors who come to see us, like Paul, who "was allowed to stay by himself with the soldier who was guarding him...and lived for two years in his rented house. He welcomed everyone who came to visit. He urgently presented all matters of the kingdom of God. He explained everything about Jesus Christ. His door was always open.” (MSG Acts 28:16, 30,31).

God is a “Waymaker”, especially for those of us who bemoan that we are hindered by being “under house arrest” or in our private prison in various ways and somehow canceled from witnessing freely as before. Let's keep our door “always open.” The Waymaker may bring people to us!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Comments

Linda Ann Ann Fumea From Florida At 4/1/2022 5:11:13 PM

Psalm 92:14 - "Those that be planted in the House of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to show that the Lord is upright: He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him." Fat and Flourishing :)

Reply by: Leona Choy

That translation is very vivid, my favorite!

Carole McKinney From At 3/28/2022 12:40:17 PM

AMEN!! You spoke to me right where I am at this time Leona!

Reply by: Leona Choy

Carole, I hope you had a refreshing few days at the beach. Happy Birthday whenever it is. May 81 be a year of flourishing as you relocate downsized. Keep me updated and how I can pray for you.

Dot From Dan At 3/28/2022 11:13:25 AM

Day after day you keep up the pace always with quality results! Just be a good girl and heed your docs. And go with the flow. GBWY. God be with you Good-bye Baby dot

Reply by: Leona Choy

You have no idea, good buddy, how physically weak I really am and how heavily I must lean on the Lord just to make it through the day until I collapse to earlier and earlier bedtime.

Madeline Trotman From Charlottesville VA At 3/28/2022 4:40:26 AM

Leona, thank you for these timely words of encouragement. Yea! I want to continually exalt my Savior and Shepherd for His lovingkindness and wonderful works for us. He uses you mightily!!!

Reply by: Leona Choy

Thank you, in turn, for your encouragement in my own time of weakness.

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KEEPING A TRADITION
Leona Choy
11/15/2018

PUBLISHING FUND PROGRESS
Leona Choy
11/5/2018

"GOING STEADY" WITH MY "SUGAR CANE"
Leona Choy
11/3/2018

A SHOUT-OUT FOR A NEW BUTTERFLY
Leona Choy
10/31/2018

THANKSGIVING IN OCTOBER
Leona Choy
10/7/2018

REPEAT OFFENDERS
Leona Choy
9/30/2018

SHINING WHEN YOUR BATTERY IS LOW
Leona Choy
9/21/2018

I DESERVE IT...DESERVE IT NOT....
Leona Choy
9/13/2018

WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Leona Choy
9/10/2018

WAITING FOR GOD'S DUE TIME
Leona Choy
9/3/2018

STONES AND COVERUPS AND HOLY EARS
Leona Choy
8/31/2018

IT'S ALL ABOUT SHOES
Leona Choy
8/29/2018

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS MY CELL TOWER
Leona Choy
8/27/2018

REJUVENATION GOD'S WAY
Leona Choy
8/17/2018

STUCK IN THE MUD?
Leona Choy
8/13/2018

TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR
Leona Choy
8/8/2018

WHEN'S A GOOD TIME TO "EXULT"?
Leona Choy
7/30/2018

Survey For the Calendar-Challenged
Leona Choy
7/25/2018

Destiny Decisions
Leona Choy
7/19/2018

BEDROOM SLIPPERS OR HIKING BOOTS?
Leona Choy
7/18/2018

Hurrah for the Prepper Bridesmaids!
Leona Choy
7/13/2018

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS?
Leona Choy
7/10/2018

BARNACLES
Leona Choy
6/5/2018