Lessons from baseball

Last night I went to a Diamondbacks game. I loved being in the stands, in the middle of all the fans hoping that the team would somehow pull a “win” out. Being at a baseball game just seems to feel like summer.

And watching a game in the comfort of a humongous air conditioned stadium when the air temperature outside hovers around the 110 mark isn’t too bad either.

A friend of ours had given my buddy Mike and I two tickets to the game. They were excellent seats near the third base side dugout. I really enjoyed hanging out with Mike and watching two teams slug it out.

There were all kinds of interesting twists and turns to the game with the home team trying to battle back from a 2 zip hole. We even lost one of our key players on a play at the plate as he slid and broke his ankle.

Eventually, we were able to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth inning and suddenly momentum swung in our favor. In the bottom of the ninth our lead off guy hit a long double and then advanced to third on a wild pitch.

No outs! Surely, we could score him from third. The opposing team (Milwaukee Brewers) even brought in one of their outfielders to the infield giving them an extra man to cut down ground balls but leaving huge gaps in the outfield.

And, we had the middle of our line up, some of our best hitters up to bat. Really, it would only take a decent sacrifice fly to score our man on third.

It looked like a sure time. Nine out of ten times you would expect a team with those kinds of odds to score. Unfortunately, two weak ground balls and a lazy fly out later and we were out of the inning.

So, we went to extra innings with another huge momentum swing back to the visitors. And, the Diamondbacks brought in a rookie pitcher; in fact, it was his first game up in the “big leagues.”

Disaster! The poor guy gave up a hit, then a wild pitch, then a walk, then a balk, and before you knew it the game was over. I felt so sorry for the dude. He looked scared to death. His first major league game and he couldn’t have done worse.

The thing is, he never should have been in that position. We should have easily won it in the previous inning. We had it locked up.

Watching this game last night reminded me of what happens so often in our lives. We can battle back from stuff that has happened and then think we have our lives on track. Everything looks good and then what seemed like a sure thing, isn’t.

We are faced with one more thing and fear takes over. We lose big time. You see our lives are never a sure thing. Momentum can shift on a dime. There will be good circumstances and bad circumstances. We need to learn to overcome our fears and face the tough challenges.

The key to all of this of course is how closely we rely on Christ. We never can take it for granted that we have it all figured out and can coast in our relationship with Him. We must always depend on Him. He will help us choke back the fear and throw the ball. Remember, it ain’t over till it’s over.

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