One Pitch

I’m a big baseball fan. Already this season, I’ve attended both major league and minor league ballgames. The lessons one can learn in baseball overlap so well with real life—dealing with failure, stepping up to the plate, and much more. I could do a whole series on it, but the non-baseball fans would grow tired of it long before I would.

Anyhow, one memorable game I watched ended with a dramatic bottom of the ninth inning. The home team was trailing by a couple of runs with the hitter at the plate representing the winning run with two outs. The visiting team’s “closer” was in the game to save it for them. The batter had a 3-1 count, meaning one more pitch out of the strike zone and he’d walk to load the bases, but 2 more strikes and the game would be over. As I’m watching on TV, the announcer ominously stated that this was the most dangerous pitch of the game for the pitcher. A moment later the batter crushed the pitch down the right field line. Instead of being a homerun, however, the ball drifted just foul. The ball was hit plenty hard enough; it just wasn’t hit straight enough. The almost-game-winning-homer was nothing more than strike 2. The announcer, a former pitcher himself, then correctly predicted that the closer would get the batter out on the next pitch. The visiting team (the team I was cheering for) then exulted, while the home team sadly exited the field.

When the game was over, I breathed a sigh of relief that my team had won, but as I was reflecting on how close my team came to losing, I thought about how sometimes in life, one decision (like one pitch) can make a big difference. Will I say yes or no to that temptation? When I fall down, will I quit or get back up? Will I forgive or hold a grudge? Will I pray or go it alone?

So, as Proverbs 3:5-6 instructs [Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.], I am going to entrust these decisions to the Lord. I am going to acknowledge God and submit to Him, recognizing that I need His wisdom in making decisions. When I make decisions on my own, I strike out more times than I’d care to admit. But God always comes through in the clutch!