This is the 9th of a series of 15 devotionals from the late 80s when my oldest sons were just little boys …
Most of you know how much I like baseball. This is really quite remarkable since my little league experience was a disaster. My first experiences with baseball were so bad that you would think I’d hate the game for life. In my first two years, I never once touched the ball with the bat. I was the other team’s favorite player.
Nathan is now the same age I was for my first year of little league, and he is on his first hardball team. He is even playing on the same field I did 27 years ago. He recently played in his first game, and I was so nervous I hardly sat down at all on the folding chair I brought.
Pitch one – swing and a miss. Oh no, I thought, he has Buchmanitis (and acute disorder wherein the eyes, arms, and hands do not function in rhythmic order pertaining to the striking of spherical projectiles).
Pitch two – swing and a massive foul ball that struck the backstop with great force. A small sense of relief came over me – that’s more than I ever did. Yeah. That’s what I can tell him if he misses the next pitch.
Pitch three – Another foul tip … just barely.
Pitch four – Solid contact! A massive shot! I yelled, “Run Nathan Run!” At last the ball was retrieved by the pitcher, but not before Nathan had crossed the bag at first base. It was a hit, fair and square. He eventually scored, and with the smile of a World Series champion … for he had accomplished more than his dad ever did at that age.
I’m sure there are times when God looks at us something like a nervous father. He wants us to do well. In life and service, He desires that we “hit” and “score.” But we so often feel that He should do it all for us, as if He were our permanent pinch hitter and pinch runner. But just as I didn’t step in and do it for Nathan, God will not always step in and fix it all for us. He will provide the encouragement and give us skills we need, but our responsibility is to be faithful with what we have been given and to develop our talents for His glory.
How’s your batting practice coming?