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Tis’ the season – baseball season, that is - my favorite season of the year.  One of the things I love about baseball is the unique jargon that is not heard in any other sport.  No other sport has “ducks on the pond” or a “bull pen” or “tools of ignorance.”  A few games ago, the pitcher had suddenly begun to give up hit after hit, in mid-game.  Someone described him as being “out of gas,” meaning he had grown tired and unsuccessful.  While some baseball lingo must remain forever within the sport, this phrase transfers beyond.  In fact, I know some Christians, and a few ministers, who are “out of gas.” The more acceptable term is “burn-out.” But whatever you call it, it is sad to see, and difficult to correct.  When this malady befalls us, we try to remedy it by acting more spiritual, serving harder, employing more spiritual discipline, saying things like, “I’d rather burn-out than rust-out,” while the real cure is within.  Quoted by E. Stanley Jones, someone said, “If we haven’t that within us which is above us, we will soon yield to that which is around us.”  Even God rested on the seventh day, and blessed it as a day of rest and refreshment (Genesis 2:2-3).  Likewise, Jesus “withdrew” (Mark 3:7) from the crowds, understanding that life in general and ministry in specific needs times for renewing and refueling.  Out of gas? It’s hard to gas-up on the move. Stop long enough for God to re-fill your spiritual tank.

Dr. Dan Crawford, Senior Professor at Southwestern Baptist Seminary, is also the WestCoast Baptist Association (Vancouver, Canada) Spiritual Life & Leadership Mentor. Follow Dan on Twitter @DrDanRC and Facebook www.facebook.com/dan.crawford.

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