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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Life is like Baseball

As one season comes to end, we are stepping into the season of cleats and umpires....yes, that would be baseball season. With the excitement in the air, I'm trying to get the boys back into the "swing" of things. Today as I was thinking about how to help them become better hitters, I couldn't help but make connections with life in general. 

To become a great hitter, you must do several things....all of which can be directly related to our lives as Christians. It is my prayer that this list will do 2 things, help you view your walk in a different light AND help you become a better baseball hitter :)

1. Line your knuckles up - In order to get the proper rotation of your wrist as you swing, you must have the knuckles you knock with lined up. This feels very uncomfortable at first, but the more you do it, the more natural it becomes. It is amazing to see the power that comes from such a simple change. 
LIFE LESSON - (faithfulness) Keep your life aligned with Jesus Christ. It will be a very difficult first step, until you see the results. It is not natural, so you will have to be consciously aware of the alignment. Before you know it, you will wake up every morning and automatically line up with Him. 

2. Wait for the right pitch - Regardless of ability, if you step into the box blindly swinging away at every pitch you get, you will most likely strike out. You have to be selective. You have to have enough confidence and experience to know which pitches to go for and which ones to let go. You have to be able to make a quick decision, read the pitcher, be ready, and attack. It only takes one pitch!
LIFE LESSON - (self control) Life will throw you all kinds of pitches, some straight down the middle, some in the dirt, some will hit you, some will be over your head. You have to use your alignment/relationship with God to decipher those pitches/decisions. Usually these pitches come in the way of priorities and decisions. Just because something is a "good" thing, doesn't mean it's a "God" thing. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into which pitches to swing at.

3. Get your stance right - If you are off balance, you can't swing with all your might. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart, not too close to the plate, keep your head in, and weight on your back foot. All these steps will become automatic with practice. It sounds like alot to remember, but it all flows together seamlessly. 
LIFE LESSON - (love, joy, peace, kindness) Our lives MUST be balanced. It is impossible to fight off the enemy without balance. We have to keep our priorities in line, without overloading our lives with junk. Before we know it, the world, the enemy, our flesh will sneak up on us and get us distracted. We have to remember to use balance to keep us from tilting to extremes. 

4. Believe in your swing - You can do all of the previous, but have no confidence and strike out every time. Babe Ruth struck out more than he got a hit, but he didn't quit believing in himself. You have to understand that striking out comes with the territory. If you choose to hang your head, or throw you bat after a strike out, you have it all backwards. A strike out does not mean you are no good, so don't let it effect your confidence.
LIFE LESSON - (gentleness) We must have a calm spirit within us. When life throws us difficult times, we can't throw our bats and hang our heads. We have to get back in the box, believe in what we know NOT what we are feeling. Know that the next time, we may strike out again, but we will not give up the fight. 

5. Expect a great hit and then run like crazy - We have to expect to get a hit, we can't just HOPE. With confidence, even though we know we won't get a hit every time, we will surely do better. When we do get a hit, we have to run to take full advantage of it. Be prepared to slide and get dirty if it's close.
LIFE LESSON - We are on the winning team, so act like it. Jesus Christ has paid the price. EXPECT great things. Our God doesn't want us to suffer. Although life does deal us those hands sometimes, get up, move on, and EXPECT to be a winner. Get dirty, help people, be a light, and act like a WINNER.

Dear God,
Please help me become a better hitter for YOU. Help me to understand that I can't remember all of these steps each time I step into the box of daily life, but I can depend on YOU to guide my balance, my swing, my confidence, and my selection. Help me to step aside, and let you take control. Help me to hit a homerun for YOU!!

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