Sunday, July 20, 2008

Quiet Moments With God--Baseball Lessons

Two of my grandsons, Corey and Ezra, have waded into the adventure of playing baseball. Corey is nine. He and his teammates are learning the intricacies of the game. Many of them have been playing for several years and have already achieved quite a bit of proficiency. Ezra, is six and he plays Tee-ball. He and the other little guys on his team are just beginning to learn about the game. They’re having a lot of fun.

The two teams are nothing alike. Corey’s is striving to gain skill and to win. They compete with other teams and the coach is focused on training his kids. Sometimes there are flaring tempers and even tears of disappointment. Reaching for expertise is not a bad thing, but the boys are much more serious about the game than the Tee-ballers.

Ezra and his friends are beginners and just finding out what it’s like to be part of a team. They are mostly thinking about having fun. There is no score-keeping; all players bat and all of them play no matter what their ability. No one gets into trouble for a bad throw or for making an error. Kids twirl while in the field, or pick flowers or chase butterflies. They even lie down in the grass and stare at the sky. It’s all about having fun.

I’ve watched a fair number of games this summer. They’ve been a good teaching tool for me. I’m a Type A personality who wishes I were a Type B. I want to be on the tee-ball team, but I’m stuck on the baseball team. Every time I try to make the change guilt storms in telling me to get serious.

As I’ve watched my grandsons play ball and thought about the differences in how these two groups play the game I’ve also been thinking about how we live our lives. Some of us are driven and work too much and others of us just want to play.

Neither is good or bad, unless we fix ourselves into just one category. Life should be lived in balance. We do need to work hard, improve our skills and grow in knowledge. It’s kind of like playing baseball and getting to hit a line drive and then race to first base, our arms and legs pumping. It’s fun. But too much intensity will wear us out. We need to take time for playing, to stare at the clouds looking for the Indian Chief floating there or to listen and hear the quiet voice of God.

God speaks, but we don’t always hear. We’re too busy pushing through, intent upon some achievement or other. As the saying goes, “We need to stop and smell the roses.” Ahh, their fragrance is rich and pleasant; it quiets our soul . . . kind of like God.

Grace and peace to you from God.

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