Bottom of the 9th, #20 - God's Backpack

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Bottom of the 9th - God's Backpack

God’s Backpack by Bob Coleman

We are each born with an invisible backpack, a gift from God to begin our life. It is invisible because it is weightless.

It is weightless because it contains the “fruits of the spirit†found in Galatians 5:22-23. These virtues are “God’s toolbox†for our lives. If we use these free tools to live our lives, we become more like Christ and have a blessed opportunity to live a rich, peaceful, fulfilling, and rewarding life, filled with deep meaningful relationships, and eternity in His kingdom.

If we choose to follow the ways of the world and ignore those life tools in that blessed backpack, our lives will very likely be the opposite outcome. When we choose to add Satan’s tools to God’s backpack, our load becomes more burdensome and heavier to carry over time. Guilt, sin, anger, greed, addictions, lust- Satan carries a large inventory and is never out of stock. He is also open 24/7/365 and poor credit is acceptable. No minimum standards.

Our backpack gets chock full and stuffed with our life bricks formed by our stale life clay. Rather than our contents becoming fertile, rich soil for growth, our contents become compacted tightly with little room to accept fresh air, and His light and water. The Living Waters cannot refresh our hard earthly shell. Our backpack gradually becomes full and stressed. It eventually splits at its seams when it cannot store any more of Satan’s worldly wares. We all know people, including ourselves, whose life contents have become visible and unwieldy from the exposed contents of a life backpack split and torn. A frayed life.

When we apply God’s backpack tools (grace) our backpack remains weightless our entire lives. The original capacity may often expand to multiples of its original capacity, as we grow in His Word and practice His principles, using those tools provided with our first breath.

• A life that faces outward toward others, not self-centered and self-focused. • A life that looks to help others, to serve. To lend a hand, to lift up, to elevate, to support. • A life that acts and looks to get out of oneself. An optimistic life looking to do good. • A life where compliments encourage others, not manipulate others.

I see the weightless backpack lives at Craig Hospital, where I volunteer with spinal cord injury patients. People “out of themselvesâ€, serving people who are unlikely ever to walk or move their arms again. Families whose loved ones have received the phone call we fear - - “there has been an auto accidentâ€, “your son has been shotâ€, “the test shows an abscess on the spineâ€, “there has been a diving accidentâ€, “he has been injured in battleâ€, “there was an explosion on the oil rig and…â€. Faceless, nameless volunteers who turn over hundreds of patients in their beds in the middle of the night so they won’t get bed sores- because the patients cannot move. “Grub Buddies†feeding those who cannot move their hands. Hundreds of volunteers serving at other tasks every day, sun or snow, during the day and in the middle of the night.

Examine your backpack contents with Biblical eyes. Make it a regular habit. Toss out your life debris, your hardened, lifeless clay. Replace that dead clay with God’s contents. Make it your life goal to return your backpack to its Maker in its original condition. Keep working at it until it looks just like the first day. So a  new child of God can use it again.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Galatians 5:22-23 

     Bob Coleman is a member of the Valor Board of Education and a Director at Valor Christian High School. He played on a national championship team at USC in 1961, pitched in the White Sox organization for three seasons, and signed after his sophomore season. Bob claims he threw many 400' strikes, and hastened the major league debut of many hitters who had the good fortune to hit against him!

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