Jon-Mical had a baseball game last Saturday. I was out of town at a men’s retreat so I counted on Doris to give me the play-by-play. As most of you know, we don’t miss a ballgame if we can keep from it. Grandkids are God’s second chance to really focus on what is important in life. 😊
So, I’m on the phone with Doris and she says, “Jon-Mical is pitching. He is doing GREAT!” That is awesome. I am so excited.
Then she says, “OH, they just called the game.” What? They stop the game when Jon-Mical is on the mound and doing so well?
“What happened?” I ask. “Why did they call the game?”
Doris says, “We got run-ruled. It’s fifteen to nothing!”
Well, there are a few lessons I earned from that little exchange. First, everybody needs somebody in their life that sees them like that. It may feel like you are on the mound and just getting pounded. Your fastball isn’t fast and your curveball doesn’t curve. Nothing in your life seems to be working out and you are down 15-0. It is at those moments you need to have somebody that says, “You are pitching GREAT! Don’t give up. You can win this thing. You are absolutely awesome.”
My mother did that for me. In the middle of my biggest bombs, she would call me and tell me how terrific I was doing. Listen, I know we need accountability. We have to have honesty and straight talk about performance and ability. But we also need to have that person that will pat us on the back, brag on us, and tell us we are the best thing since sliced bread.
Here’s another thought. Everybody needs to do that for somebody. There are plenty of people in the world that make it a point to tell us about our flaws, our shortcomings, and our mistakes. We have Google Reviews for that very purpose. But you need to be that guy that stands on the sidelines and says, “You are fantastic. You’re fabulous. You’re pitching great!”
A few years ago, there was a rash of literature that said we do our children no favors by bragging on them. It derided the “participation trophy” that says every kid is a winner. If we don’t let them taste defeat they won’t be well adjusted in life. All of that may be true but my belief is there is a world full of folks to take care of that. I’m going to be the person standing at the finish line and cheering like crazy when my grandson crosses the line dead last.
Last lesson, God does that for all of us. I am pretty sure He sees me at my very worst and yells over the edge of Heaven, “You got this! Don’t give up. You’re pitching great.” Remember the woman who was caught in adultery? She had a whole group of people telling her what an awful, horrible sinner she was. There were plenty of people screaming, “Get her out of there. She’s losing 15-0.” They bring her to Jesus. He stoops down and writes the ERA of all the screaming men in the sand. Then He looks at her and says, “You’re fine. I don’t condemn you. Go out there and do better.”
I know that’s true because He has done that for me a million times. Life is beating me up. I am getting it wrong a lot more than I am getting it right. By all accords, I should be yanked from the game. But in a Bible verse, or a song, or the phone call of a friend, Jesus will say, “You’re pitching fine. Stay with it. Do better. I am on your side no matter what the scoreboard says.” He is saying that to you right now.
Oh, one more lesson. Doris will probably not get invited to be a Major League Baseball play-by-play person. 😊