Anyone who knows me knows I love baseball, especially my Pirates. Through the years our son played—from Little League to college ball—I saw how much the game of baseball is like life itself.
First, you’ve got to expect the curve ball.
Life certainly throws us a lot of curve balls, doesn’t it? But it’s the pitcher’s plan to keep the batter off balance, not knowing what to expect. And curve balls fool you. You think the ball is coming one way, then it curves out of range right when you start to swing.
The unexpected. It happens to all of us, more frequently than we want. We swing for all we’re worth—and miss. Or we stand there, watching it sail by.
What do we do when life throws us curves?
Remember God is in control. Pray for guidance when you’re standing in the batter’s box with two outs and only one more chance—or when you’ve struck out. And remember, until the last out in the last inning, you’ll get more at-bats.
“Be alert,” the apostle Peter wrote. “Keep a firm grip on your faith” (1 Peter 5:8).
Second, make the most of rain delays.
I think of Moses, who fled Egypt and went from a busy palace to the lonely hillsides of a mountain wilderness. From hopes of ruling Egypt to tending sheep. He probably thought he was all washed up, a has-been. He didn’t know it, but he was in a rain delay—a pause in the action until the storm passes and the downpour eases up.
Sometimes rain delays are times to rest, regroup, and refresh your body, mind, and spirit. Sometimes they’re periods of preparation for a time of busyness, when you’re called off the bench and thrust back into the game.
Remember, “they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Third, don’t argue with the umpire.
The omniscient God doesn’t make bad calls. What you think is a bad call may be God’s purpose for you. Arguing, whining and complaining will affect your attitude and performance (and perhaps get you benched until you get your game face on). The umpire knows more about the game than you do and sees what you, in your position on the field, can’t.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established” (Proverbs 19:21).
Fourth, use what’s in your hand.
“What is that in your hand?” God asked Moses. Before God could work miracles through him, Moses had to acknowledge what he had in hand and let God use it for His purposes.
What is in your hand? A pen, music instrument, diaper, dust rag, hammer? A common, ordinary thing you’re used to and don’t even think about. Acknowledge it, no matter how small or inconsequential you think it is. Give it to God to use for His purposes. In His hand, it becomes uncommon, extraordinary. Don’t strike out looking. Use what’s in your hand.
“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all,” Martin Luther once said, “but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”
And finally, remember, when you allow God into the game, you’ll always be a winner.
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful game of life. Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Exodus 3:1–4:17