Friday, September 6, 2013

Confessions of a Baseball Mom -- Home Run Hitters

             Baseball is such a great sport!  I love everything about it, the pitching, the hitting, the teamwork of the defense, and the strategy of the game.  It has taken me 13 seasons of watching more games than I can count, and playing church softball, to really begin to understand all the intricacies of the game.   I have the added advantage of being married to a coach who loves to discuss every detail of every play for hours after a game.
            After all these years, I am finally starting to get it.  The most important lessons in life I have learned from my heavenly Coach.  Here is one of them.
              Not everyone is a home run hitter.  This has been a huge lesson for me.  Every player from tee ball to the big leagues wants to be a home run hitter.  They get the most cheers.  They bring in the most runs.  Their hits are the most impressive.  They seem to be the most important players on the team. Home runs are fun. They are exciting to watch.  They get the player, the team and the fans all fired up and sometimes give the team the momentum to win the game.
            Even though players are told from early on that Babe Ruth, the all time home run hitter, also had a huge amount of strike outs, that does not seem to matter.  They all still want to be like Babe Ruth and swing for the fence.
            It was not until my son’s last season in Little League that I finally understood that being a home run hitter was not everything.  There had been a game where my son hit a home run over a 40-foot fence and the crowd and his team went wild.  It helped propel our team to a big win.  There was another game when our team was losing by a significant amount and all hope of winning was already gone.  A player hit another home run over the fence in the last inning and it did not mean anything.  None of his teammates were on base.  It was not enough.  It did not excite the team or the crowd because we were already so far behind.  Everyone knew we could not win even with the home run.
            That is how it is in life too.  There are certainly home run hitters on the Lord’s team as well; Billy Graham, Kay Arthur, Max Lucado, and Beth Moore, to name just a few.  God has called them and equipped them to be home run hitters and they play their positions extremely well.  We all cheer them on when they hit a home run for eternity.  We, as teammates, can get excited after a home run, more energized to go out and do our part for the team.
            Most of us, however, are not home run hitters.  Sure, we occasionally hit a home run.  God equips us with the words and the opportunity and enables us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to lead someone to the Lord.  The Bible says the angels cheer in their stands when that happens.  Our team gets excited and we all rejoice in the win.
            The words that I hear coaches call out for almost every batter is, “WE NEED A HIT!  JUST PUT THE BALL IN PLAY!”  “LINE DRIVE!  BASE HIT!”   Thankfully, our Heavenly Coach is not yelling at us, but it seems like that is what He wants from us also, a base hit.  Most of the time He wants me to simply put the ball in play.  Hit a line drive.  He calls out for me to invite people to church or to a Bible study.  That is the opening they need to find Jesus.  Most of the time we simply need to serve where God has called us.  We need to be a greeter, work in the youth department, volunteer at VBS, pray with someone, or start a home Bible study group.
            Our baseball game is different than a Little League game.  In our game, the score is already confirmed.  We know our team has already won.  Our Heavenly Coach’s son, made a tremendous sacrifice with his life, so that everyone on His team wins.
            Even though in the end, our team wins, our Heavenly Coach still has plays He wants us to run. It is the last inning. He still has pitches for us to throw and He wants us to hit a single to move someone closer to home.  He still calls out for us to make the play and do our part.  How is He calling out to you?  How are you hitting the ball for a base hit?  Don’t give up.  Our team needs each player to do their part.  If each player hits a single, we move each other around the bases, until in the end, all of our players are home.  The angels are cheering.  Our team is victorious.  You and I may not be home run hitters, but we can still swing for the fence when our name is called.


  1. A good reminder that we all have a part to play, no matter how small we think it is~ Thank you! Great post!

  2. That is a great analogy Robyn. I've never thought of leading others to Christ that way. I've always felt inept because I don't feel that I have that gift, but after reading this it comforts me that I am doing my part to "put the ball in play". You drew a wonderful picture with your words!

  3. Thanks for the kind comments Michele and Carla! Not all of us can be home run hitters, but we are all part of the same team, and we can do our part.