My dad, after reading my blog, asked me why I can’t write about something fun and light, like baseball? So dad, this is for you!
My dad is a New York Mets fan. I grew up loving baseball, cheering for the Mets from our living room couch and on occasion, from Shea Stadium, sitting next to my dad. I loved to keep score in the “official score book” when we went to games. I felt important and smart that I knew what to write in those tiny boxes!
Each Christmas for about 6 years, from middle school into high school, my dad would give me the Topps Baseball Card Set. (I still have them). I loved those cards! I truly thought they would make me rich one day and I would never have to work or do anything but trade cards! Ha Ha!
Looking back, I think what I loved most about baseball was that it was something special I got do with my dad. The game was fun, but it was more about the company. As I grew older and drifted away from baseball and drifted away from spending time with my dad, those memories remained.
“No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.” (Tommy Lasorda)
Life has its ups and downs.. It is filled with home-runs and strike-outs, no hitters and pitching changes. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. It is what you do each moment, each day that will pave the way for your season. Joshua 1:8 tell us “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Like baseball, we must know the book of rules, we must follow the rules and practice daily to be successful. With this book, God’s Word, we have the promise of everlasting life, our World Series Championship!
However, as we are all aware of, sometimes life changes pitchers, or throws in a pinch hitter and we don’t know what to do. It wasn’t our plan. We are lost and confused and are asking why. Things were going so well before the change of players. We must remember these words of Jesus from the book of John. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (chapter 16:33)
Jesus died for us. He died for our transgressions. All we can do is be grateful to Him and to live our lives for His glory. We will not be perfect. We will continue to mess up and disappoint. We will make mistakes and everyday we will face temptations. However, we need to do our very best to live a glorifying life for God. It won’t be perfect, but it will be out best. Tom Seaver stated so nicely, “In baseball, my theory is to strive for consistency, not to worry about the numbers. If you dwell on statistics you get shortsighted, if you aim for consistency, the numbers will be there at the end.” He is exactly right. Strive for consistency in your life. Be a good example to your children and to your neighbors and to your co-workers. Don’t get hung up on the mistake you made at work last week or the hurtful words that came out to a friend at the PTA meeting last night. Ask God for forgiveness and look at the bigger picture. In the end, God’s Word will direct your life in a way that is good. The numbers will be there!
“You gotta be a man to play baseball for a living, but you gotta have a lot of little boy in you, too. “ (Roy Campanella)
I do believe Roy Campanella’s statement above. Without the spark and excitement of a child, you will lose the heart of the game. Many major leaguers have lost this spark, but the ones who haven’t are the great ones! Relating this to our faith, 1Corinthians states, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.” (1Corinthians 13:11 & 14:20)
God wants us to grow in our faith into mature adults, men and women alike. However, as our faith matures, our temptations increase. In the same manner of maturing our faith with God, He asks us to regard sin, evil and temptation as if we were infants. Infants do not know of these worldly things. All they know is their basic needs, food, love and dependence. God wants us to have a mature faith as adults, but rely on Him completely for all of our needs, and do not take part in sin, evil and temptations. Play like a man, but keep the little boy in your heart too. It’s a great way to remember our role that God has laid out for us.
Finally, as I wrap up my baseball blog, I encourage everyone to learn more. Babe Ruth said, “Don’t be afraid to take advice. There’s always something new to learn.” Seek out the truth in the bible, in church, in small groups, in friends, neighbors, book studies, etc. Life is not easy. It can be enjoyable but it can also be terribly difficult. Lean on God and use the people and resources He has placed around you to grow in your faith. There is always more to learn, there is always more to do and there is always more ways to grow. Don’t get stuck being content. Stretch your spiritual limits. Point your bat to the far wall of the outfield and them aim for the home-run! You may make it or you may fall short. Just do it and you won’t be disappointed!
Dad, I hope you enjoyed this blog about baseball! Although I am now wearing a Yankee hat since my husband is a Yankee fan, my heart is still with the Mets of 1986! I love you!