Smile

SmileMy 9-year-old daughter is struggling at softball this season.

Don’t get me wrong, she’s great with the glove. In the field, she knows where to be and when to be there. She runs well and is smart on the basepaths. She plays hard and loves it. Her attitude is phenomenal. Even if she wasn’t my daughter, she’s the kind of player I’d love to have on my team.

And then…there’s hitting. She hits great in practice. But, in the game…let’s just say she doesn’t hit fine. Why the difference between the practice and the game?

Pressure.

She puts a lot of pressure on herself and when she doesn’t succeed in an at-bat, it lowers her confidence…which then causes her to put more pressure on herself, which….

You get the point. Pressure is unavoidable. It’s a fact of life. Life will give you plenty of pressure. You need not create and apply it yourself.

Last night at the Pepperdine Bible Lectures I watched Jonathan Storment preach, and what really struck me about Jonathan’s preaching was he looked like he was having the time of his life up there. Though I’m sure he felt some pressure speaking on a prestigious stage to over 4,000 people, he didn’t come across pressurized. He came across like he was having fun. As a result, those listening joined him.

There is a phrase coaches love to yell to pitchers during a tough inning: “Have fun out there.” It’s one we in ministry would do well to memorize. Have fun doing what you’re doing. Enjoy your craft. Enjoy sharing God’s Word with people. There is nothing wrong with having fun out there. Of course, ministry isn’t always a bag of giggles. Nevertheless, it’s something we should enjoy … frequently.

I wonder if some of my friends would still be in ministry if some fellow Christian or church leader said to them during a particularly tough season, “Have fun out there!” “Smile.” “Celebrate the things God is doing.” “Enjoy serving the Lord with your life!”

So, maybe I’ll just say to you, whatever season you’re having.

Have fun out there.