Every summer from when I turned six until after my 17th birthday, playing baseball consumed my Spring. The pressure and competition that existed then is so different from today with the travel teams, amount of practices, there are so many all star teams, and world series'. The quality and science behind the equipment and safety precautions that have been taken will continue to elevate the development of players and level of competition.
Though there are many changes one thing in baseball has never changed. The fundamentals: Throwing, Catching, and Hitting. As with most sports, fundamentals matter. Baseball is unique in that it is slow enough to think through play-by-play before the next pitch. One fundamental in baseball that I was always reminded of each season is, "Pete! What are you going to do if the ball is hit to you?" Depending on where the base runners were located, their speed, who running behind them, where the ball was hit (to my right or left), and many more were all factors I had to be considering the moment the pitcher released the ball. Thus, the reason, coaches are notorious for yelling, "GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME!" I heard that many times. There are individual aspects to baseball but it is a team sport. So, players are also responsible to know what to do when a ball is thrown or hit to someone who is playing next to or in front of them. Baseball is a game of mental toughness, physical strength and precision & skill.
I'm probably the only weird one but I have considered how real life and baseball play by play fundamentals are similar in their use, in order to see success. As a Christian, I am taught to "take every thought captive to the obedience in Christ Jesus" to "flee from sexual immorality" to "love the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul and strength and to love my neighbor as my self." There are so many verses that I would call fundamental to me living a life that follows after Christ.
All of us want to see success in life...in what we do...in who we are...in our goals. Sometimes we are wanting to become more aware of others around us, hold our tongue (make sure your hands are clean before you do), avoid lust and temptations, and more. I have found success in applying a similar technique that I learned in baseball that keeps me on my toes. There are many areas in my life where I have adopted a cause and effect policy. That is, situations where I have already made my mind up, as to what I will do, if __________ happens. This is all for the purpose of living a life above reproach, steering myself away from temptation, and living with purpose and vision. For me constantly "keeping my head in the game" is key to living the life just described. I do this by meditation, meditation on God's word. Keeping my mind trained and focused to a life following after Christ is crucial. Two verses I hold close as reminders to live this life are Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 1.
Joshua 1:8 "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." and Psalm 1:1-2 "Blessed is the man who walks not the in counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of sinners, but his delight is in the delight of the Law and on it he mediates day and night."
May you too be challenged to let the word of God lead and guide you in your life decisions. Meditate. Keep your head in the game.
Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Student Pastor, and Lover of all things Garlic and Bacon.