Josh Hamilton hit four homeruns on Tuesday night.
Some of you are asking …
Who’s Josh Hamilton?
What do homeruns have to do with Christian community?
What’s a homerun? (Well, probably no one’s asking this question; and if you are, Jesus still loves you loads and loads.)
If you want to know more about Josh Hamilton’s accomplishment and to find out where I was on May 23, 2002, follow this link to Cliff Corcoran’s write up (Bonus points for the first person who figures out my whereabouts and comments).
Hamilton’s historic feat did make me think of community and the benefits of building healthy connections. And here are the benefits:
1) A healthy connection generates joy. If you’re puzzling over “generates,” don’t work too hard on it. I just like alliteration (plus the word isn’t as cliché as “multiplies”).
Josh Hamilton’s four-homerun night awakened my May 23rd memory (now almost a decade old). What makes the memory all the more special is the presence of two friends, my son, and his friend.
Last week, my brothers and I attended a Triple-A game at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas. The previous week, all by my lonesome, I watched a Double-A game at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi. I enjoyed both experiences (after all, it was baseball) but I enjoyed the former more than the latter because I went with Wayne and Roger.
I find the same thing holds true in my walk with Christ. I enjoy the experience all the more when I have a healthy connection with my brothers and sisters in the faith and we journey together.
2) A healthy connection shares sorrow. My brother Roger was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer this spring. The news rocked our family. As a family, we entered into Roger’s tough news and stood together in carrying the burden.
“… better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away” (Proverbs 27:10b NIV).
As much as I love my family, I still need healthy connections with the people who are near me. That starts at home and expands to my church family and my community.
This proverb reminds me of the importance of being present with those in pain. “The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends will be an outsider at their celebrations” (Proverbs 14:10 The Message).
3) A healthy connection encourages.
With my father watching from the sidelines, I had my best football game in high school. The local paper listed my name among several outstanding players. His presence encouraged me to play above the norm.
As followers of Christ, we encourage one another to pray, to study, to grow, and to live out our faith together.
4) A healthy connection aligns hearts through accountability.
Friends don’t let friends drive Fords.
No, no, that’s not right.
Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.
That’s the one. My apologies to you Ford owners.
The slogan is familiar and it addresses a specific healthy choice—to not drive under the influence.
On the other hand, it also illustrates the power of accountability. When we live in healthy connection, we encourage making better choices. We hold each other accountable to a lifestyle befitting the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We align our hearts with His character.
I’m curious. What benefits have you experienced through healthy connections?
A Minute with John Maxwell: “Connecting”
A Slice of Infinity: “Does Prayer Matter?”
Jon Stolpe Stretched: “Slow Down”
Top 3 Posts in the Last 7 Days
You can find my novel, Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes, at:
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