Ransomed Heart

Fulfilling CG's Mission - Resources
by Keith Wahl

"Our Mission: Complete Game Ministries exists to UNITE, ENCOURAGE, and RESOURCE the baseball community serving in the ministry of Jesus Christ."

Our ministry is currently working on refining our mission, vision, and core values as we seek to establish a strong ministry plan for the future. The discussions have been rich as we reflect on the successes of the past five years, and as we look forward to impacting more people for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

As we continue to RESOURCE the baseball community, I wanted to share a blog that continually encourages my heart. But first, I want to share a background story about how John Eldredge has impacted my life with his words repeatedly.

A little over a year ago, I read one of Clint Hurdle's daily emails that really impacted me. It spoke to something deep inside my soul. I emailed Coach Hurdle after reading it, asking who authored the piece. His simple, two-word reply shouldn't have been a surprise to me - "John Eldredge."

Early in my Christian walk, I read Eldredge's book, Wild at Heart. I was new to the faith and was on a steep learning curve to learn about Jesus, reading multiple books per week. Wild at Heart set my heart free as a man and drove me to seek the heart of God. I've revisited the text a number of times, most recently as I read it with a former player before we climbed a mountain together this summer.

We often seek another human being to be a mentor, and for good reason. We want to be able to seek wisdom from a trusted friend. It's important for us to remember that authors are our mentors, too. Eldredge is one of those for me (alongside Matt Chandler, Francis Chan, Erwin McManus, Timothy Keller, and others). Their writings and podcasts, filtered through God's Word, can provide great mentorship in our thought lives.

Eldredge's daily email via his Ransomed Heart website provides readers with a quick, generally 2-3 paragraph, writing that often re-centers my heart at the beginning of my day. Here is one example from a couple of months ago that I've held onto. It speaks to our game, the game of baseball, belonging outside in a field in the wilderness:

The Wildness of Spirituality

All masculine initiation is ultimately spiritual. The tests and challenges, the joys and adventures are all designed to awaken a man’s soul, draw him into contact with the masculine in himself, in other men, in the world, and in God, as Father. I make no distinction between taking a boy or a man on an adventure and, say, teaching that man to pray. The adventure—rightly framed—can be a powerful experience of God. And prayer or Bible study—rightly framed—is meant to be the same. Most boys and men share the perception that God is found in church, and that the rest of life is ... just the rest of life. It’s the old Gnostic heresy, the division of the sacred and the profane. The tragedy of this is that the rest of life seems far more attractive to them than church, and thus God seems removed and even opposed to the things that make them come alive.
 
But as Christians, we believe God embraces the physical world, that he loves Creation as we do, pronounced it very good (Gen. 1:31), that he speaks through it and uses it to teach us many things. We’ve lost many boys and men from the church because we’ve given them an unspeakably boring spirituality, implying that God is most interested in things like hymnals and baptismal founts. We’ve made the spiritual very small, and sanctimonious, robbed and often effeminate. And yet, most of the stories of men encoun- tering God in the Bible do not take place in church(!). Moses is met in the desert, in a burning bush. Jacob wrestles with God in the wilderness also, in the dead of night. David wrote most of his psalms out under the stars. Paul is met on the desolate dirt road between Jerusalem and Damascus. And most of the stories of Jesus with his disciples don’t take place in church. Not even indoors. 
 
We have got to recover the wildness of spirituality—especially masculine spirituality.


Look for an image at the bottom of the Ransomed Heart website to subscribe to these readings. I invite you to subscribe to Eldredge's Daily Reading by visiting his site. Enjoy!