His childhood story was very relatable! As Al shared his experience in Little League baseball, my mind went back to my own. I was decent at most sports – but baseball and I never got along too well. The reason? I was bad at it. Besides, Little League pitchers are wild and baseballs hurt when they hit you! In fact, my team’s “best” pitcher was known as “Beanie” Henry because he hit so many batters!
But I digress. Back to Al’s story. He too wasn’t a future All-Star and he frequently struck out at the plate. So frequent were his swings and misses, he figured his only shot at reaching base was to either be walked or hit by a pitch. So he determined never again to lift the bat from his shoulder. For the rest of his first and only season, he never took another swing! In his words:
When a man swings and misses, he knows failure and humiliation. Incompetence is exposed and shame is the by-product. Even if he swings and hits, he feels the pressure of expectations. After all, if you hit once, you should be able to hit again. It is easier to rest the bat on your shoulder and wait for the occasional walk.
Sadly, that’s a picture of many of our lives – standing still, afraid to budge. Wanting to move but holding back because of a prior and greater commitment to safety. It’s always safety first – in jobs, relationships, or living out our faith.
Yet to be fully alive, the bat must be lifted from the shoulder and frequently swung! Sometimes we’ll make contact, sometimes we won’t. But God created us to take the swing. He doesn’t want us simply holding the bat in fear. Today, ask the Lord to help you exercise the spirit of boldness He’s given you, then swing that bat! –Dave
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
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