Saturday, March 22, 2014

You Can't Steal Second, With Your Foot on First Base

           One of the most exciting plays in baseball is when a runner, who made it to first base, tries to steal second base. It is an out of the ordinary play, and not many runners are successful. While on first base, before the next batter hits the ball, the runner tries to sprint to second base before the pitcher or catcher throws the ball to the second baseman, who can then tag the runner out.

What does it take to steal second base?
1.     Guts. The runners that steal second are bold, gutsy, and have a ‘go for it’ attitude.
2.     Confidence. They need to be confident they can run faster than the catcher or pitcher can throw the ball to second base.
3.     Sliding. To steal, the runner has to sprint to second base and then dive head first, arms outstretched, to try and tag second base.
4.     Most importantly, and without this it is impossible to get to second, the runner must take his foot off first base. They have to take a few steps away from the base, get a lead off, and look for the best opportunity to run.
            There is a huge risk is doing this. Stepping off the base alerts the other team that you may try to steal second. At any time the pitcher can turn around and throw the ball to the first baseman, who can tag the runner out, if his foot is not touching first base. Taking a few steps off of first and towards second taunts the pitcher to throw to the first basemen, sending the message to the runner: You better not steal. You can’t make it and I am here to see that you don’t.

            Stealing second is so risky; there are usually many failed attempts, before a runner is successful. The catcher has a very strong arm, and if the pitcher does not throw the runner out, the catcher can usually blast the ball to second base before the runner can make it.
            Isn’t this how it is in real life also? We will never make it to our goal, if we stay where we are. In a game, the next few hitters could strike out, and the game could end without you ever leaving the first base bag.
            For us to make it to our goal, or our next step, we have to start. We have to get off first base, our comfort zone, and take a few steps in the direction we want to go.
            We also need to have the bold, ‘go for it’ attitude. Nobody ever accomplished anything without having the guts to try something new.
            We need to be confident in the skills and talents our Heavenly Coach has instilled in us. We need to be confident that any path He puts us on, that He will be with us as we run toward the next base.
            Diving head first into second base can be painful. Along the path towards our goal, there may be pain and difficulties as well. When we dive head first toward our goal, arms outstretched, we can get a little bruised or scraped, and we end up dirtier than when we started. But, when we look back, accomplishing that goal will be worth all the difficulties.
            Taking our foot off first base, taking a few steps towards our goal, is the most important step. We need to be alert to the opportunities and struggles that may come our way. We need to be prepared that someone may try to prevent us from reaching our goal. We need to have a clear path to our goal, and we need to give it all we’ve got.
            When that happens, it is a beautiful thing to watch.

“I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal—my reward the honor of being called by God in Christ.” Philippians 3:14

      Are you living in fear, with your foot firmly planted on first base?  Or are you living in faith, by taking a risk, and taking a few steps towards your goal? 

  Take a few more steps.  You can do it.

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