Hitting the Curve Ball

I remember going to watch two friends play in a baseball tournament. Although I learned that the game was rained out, I saw a way to still have some fun. There was a batting cage next to the dugouts and I suggested that we hit a few balls. I had always wanted to tap into my inner Ted Williams. They loved the idea.

 

I dug in and prepared for Dennis to throw me a few pitches. They came straight and fast and I was extremely pleased that I was getting a few hits against a pitcher of his caliber. True to form, my enthusiasm migrated into arrogance and I started trash talking.  “Bring it on…is that all you got!”

 

I saw Dennis get what I now know to be a “pitcher’s grin” and had no idea what he had in store for me. He threw me a couple more fastballs that I devoured as if they were Krispy Kreme donuts. In anticipation of hitting the ball out of the park, I started my swing a little earlier and swung at bit harder at his next pitch.

 

The instant the ball left Dennis’ hand, I knew something was terribly wrong. First, the ball appeared to be coming right at my head and I had no intention of getting close and personal with this rapidly approaching projectile. Second, I was nearly completing my swing and the ball was only half way to the plate. What happened?

 

I desperately tried to slow my swing down; however, my bat was already past the plate rapidly making a run for home.  I was helplessly watching this ball curve down and away from my face as it leisurely traveled through the strike zone. Wow.

 

I was in shock and what brought me back to consciousness was the acute pain in my back resulting from trying to slow down my herculean swing. The howling from my friends was deafening. Dennis was rolling on the ground laughing hysterically and I was trying to find my balance having just been introduced to my first curve ball.

 

I was living in the fantasy of thinking that I was a batting prodigy. With only a few minutes in the batting cage, I was hoping that I would be able to hit like a professional. I see how I have the same fantasies in life. I mistakenly believe that if I were better at things then I would be happy and fulfilled. I confuse the outcome with the process.

 

Life is an ecstatic dance lived spontaneously in the moment. It is free, alive, and mysterious. Attempts to script and control life (both ours as well as others) are lethal.  We habitually seek for certainty and attempt to find comfort in routine and predictability. We mistakenly believe that what we want is to be in control. It may be what we want; however, what we need is to live by faith. Faith is the capacity to move forward in the face of the unknown. It is the courage to act in the face of uncertainty and doubt.

 

A life worth living and a God worth worshipping—I see these as central values in a life well lived. Will you allow me to consider one facet of God using my experience at the batting cage? A God worthy of our worship is like a divine pitcher. He throws the pitches and we try to get a hit.

Our job is to hit the balls we are pitched. Growing in our skill of hitting involves a life dedicated to deliberate practice and a willingness to learn from our mistakes and failings. Winning is redefined as learning and growing from our disappointments and breakdowns. In this game we are a team actively depending on our teammates to be dedicated to becoming the best players possible.

 

We are not the pitcher. It is not our responsibility to select the type of pitch, pace or placement. Our responsibility is to select the pitches we are going to try and hit.  Regardless of their pace and placement, we are here to be continually improving ourselves as batters. Avoid the temptation to focus too much on the pitcher and his pitches.

 

At the Center for Christian Life Enrichment we love supporting players who want to learn, grow and become the best hitters they can be. Join us and become a part of our team. It is a blast and you will see remarkable growth and improvement.

 

One Response to “Hitting the Curve Ball”
  1. Sue Blue 29 December 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    I love the idea that our responsibility is to respond to the balls that are pitched to us in life.

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Published: 22.12.2012 / 10:58 PM

Category: Grappling with God,Relationships,Spiritual Growth,Uncategorized

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