“5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” – Deuteronomy 6:5
Growing up one of my favorite baseball players was Cal Ripken Jr. I don’t remember how good of a player he was, but his consistency stuck out to me. He had a streak of playing 2,632 consecutive games. His record spanned the course of 17 seasons…insanity!
It was this dedication to showing up that I was drawn to and desired to duplicate. In high school I made it my goal to not miss a single day of school from the beginning of my freshman year until I walked across the stage at graduation. I was perfect until my junior year when a family friend passed away and I knew that I needed to be at the funeral. Even though my streak ended I still missed the least amount of days as possible.
I was recently reminded of this dedication to a group when we had 2 students in our youth group show up 37/37 weeks. What I didn’t know though was that one of the students was so dedicated that even the weeks his parents were out-of-town or unable to take him..he showed up. He walked and sometimes rode his bike, but the important thing is that he was there. He is so dedicated to our youth group that he went the extra mile to be there in the services. He did whatever it took to be there. It sometimes meant he had to be uncomfortable or sacrifice some time and energy.
So often we make excuses about going to church or going to our small group. We have a stomach ache, headache or some other pain and we convince ourselves we need to stay home. These students should be an example to us of what it means to love the Lord how we are commanded to.