Recently, I have been reminded of the difference between an amateur and a professional.
We usually think about amateurs and professionals in sports, but the designation works in almost everything. What is the difference between a professional and an amateur?
I would put the distinction in the following way. An amateur dabbles in things. He or she does certain things because they have extra time or because they have a spike in interest, but it’s not full time and it does not consume their interest.
A professional, on the other hand, is someone who is consumed with what he does. It’s his major interest, maybe his only interest. He thinks about it all the time. She is always considering doing what she does better and more efficiently. An actress said an amateur practices until she gets it right, but a professional practices until she can’t get it wrong.
Martha and I love watching football together. Recently, we were watching an NFL game and the quarterback threw a 40 yard pass hitting the receiver in stride in the perfect spot. The result of the pass was a ball thrown where the defender couldn’t touch it and ended up as a touchdown.
At that point, Martha said what she often says when she sees such a pass. She wants to know how someone can throw such a long pass that accurately?
I responded the way I have responded many times before. I tell her that’s the difference between an amateur and professional athlete.
A professional quarterback has thrown that pass every day for the last 15 years or so. He thinks about it every day. He’s always trying to get better.
He doesn’t think of himself as someone who plays quarterback, he thinks of himself as a quarterback. That’s who he is. That’s what he does. It’s his vocation, his life.
What about your Christian faith? Are you functioning as an amateur – – occasionally thinking about Christ and His church and serving when you can get around to it – – or are you a professional – – someone who sees your faith as your vocation?
In your Christian life, are you living full time in service for God? Are you thinking of Christ and His church and the ways you can serve Him in every event and every situation?
Our calling is obviously a calling to give Him our all. Oswald Chambers called this kind of life “My Utmost for His Highest.”
May it be so with all of us.
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