Words of Worth

An Audience of NONE to ONE

May 7, 2015

audience of none“Attention media: For record keeping purposes, today’s official paid attendance is zero.” So recorded the announcer to the press room on April 29, 2015 when the Baltimore Orioles took on the Chicago White Sox in an empty ballpark.  Due to the dangerous riots in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, it was deemed unsafe to allow fans into the Camden Yards stadium.  Supposedly playing in a “fan-free stadium” is not uncommon in soccer, but it is entirely unprecedented in the history of America’s favorite pastime!

Imagine a Major League Baseball game being played before an audience of NONE! What would the motivation of the players be?  Would they play as earnestly before no one as they would before crowds of thousands? After a little digging, I discovered the best description of the game experience was that it was “palpably subdued”.  Thousands of empty seats were decorated with stranded foul balls which would be typically clamored over by fans.  Players still flicked their wrists when they got a hold of a dead ball with the intention of tossing them into the stand. Umpire calls were clearly heard, as were the dugout grumbles when a ball was called a strike.  Apparently, even the spitting of the players was clearly audible. But the thrill of a hit, the disappointment of an error, the traditionally high spirited seventh inning stretch, and exclamations of “charge!” were noticeably missing.  Playing baseball on mute before an audience of zero fell flat over and over again.

That curiosity led me to some personal curiosity about my service to God.  Certainly I am not a professional ball player, and I don’t use any of my God-given talents before tens of thousands, but I do perform some of them on occasion before many.  So I wondered if I would “play as hard” before an audience of NONE as I would before an audience of one hundred.  Better yet, would my performance before an audience of one hundred, be as excellent if it were before an audience of One?

In Psalm 3, David, who once was a powerful king before tens of thousands, was now on the lam from tens of thousands who were trying to depose him as king so that David’s son, Absalom, could be the new king. David proclaimed his enemies were increasing,

Psalm 3:1, O Lord, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me.

David’s adversaries were sure that God would abandon David, as He abandoned King Saul before him, and said that God would not deliver David,

Psalm 3:2,  Many are saying of my soul, “There is no deliverance for him in God.” Selah.

However, David uses a small, but mighty word in Psalm 3:3 and we see from that point on in the Psalm that David was turning from placing his glory, his significance, in being a popular and powerful king before thousands, to placing his glory, his significance of who he was in God’s sight.

Psalm 3:3  But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.

God was the lifter of David’s head when sinful David was cowering in shame. When God lifted David’s head, He was in essence, cheering David on to move forward from his sin and continue on in his service to God.

May I, like David, place my glory, my significance, in who I am in Christ.  Oh, that I would serve in a wholly devoted way before an audience of ONE, my shield, my glory, and the lifter of my head!

“ For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”

Galatians 1:10

audience of one

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