It’s been a while, but isn’t summer just a surprisingly hectic time? Lots of fun, but truly what liar coined the phrase, “lazy days of summer?” I’d like to have a word with them.
This morning Nate and I attended the 8:10 service at church, which strikes me as a pretty ungodly hour on a Sunday but he and I were headed back to his baseball tournament, where he was served another mighty piece of humble pie.
You may or may not know that baseball is an incredibly mental game. Hitting is mental. Pitching is mental. Even fielding the ball requires mental toughness. You gotta tell yourself over and over and over again, “I got this. I’m gonna watch the bat crush this ball. I’m going to fire this ball right past him, low in the zone. I’m gonna make this play. I’m gunning this guy out.” You choose to believe. It’s a choice. You reject the negative. You remind yourself of what’s come before: a lot of hard work. You perform well when you have the confidence that you can, that you will.
Baseball is really a lot like faith. You can drench yourself in God’s word. You can pray fervently. You can be part of life-giving fellowship. You can praise the Name of the Lord God Almighty. You can do His work day in and day out. You can put in the work spiritually but at some level it’s just like baseball: You gotta choose to believe. You have got to remind yourself of His faithfulness. You’ve got to choose to believe His promises. You have got to remember how He’s delivered you.
We have choices. We can believe and obey. Or we can doubt and flounder.
Two things come to mind that should inform our decision-making.
The first is a C.S. Lewis quote: “Obedience is the key to all doors; feelings come (or don’t come) and go as God pleases. We can’t produce them at will, and mustn’t try.”
The second is that fundamental verse from the Gospel of Mark. A father seeking healing for his son humbly told Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
May we acknowledge that faith, just like baseball, sometimes requires choosing to believe. May we choose to trust God’s promises, trust He loves us, and live in that freedom every day. We may not ever bat 1000 this side of heaven, but I bet we hit it out of the park more than we can humanly explain.
Blessings on your Sunday. I hope it’s restful and lovely and full of faith! And maybe a little baseball can be thrown in too.