Play Ball


As a kid I wasn’t much of an athlete, although I tried.

In fifth grade I joined the girl’s summer softball team.  The coach put me in when we were getting creamed and there were two outs in the bottom of the ninth and it was getting late and he needed a sure out.  Thus ended my softball career.

In junior high, I went out for basketball.  I made a basket once.  For the other team.  I cried my eyes out in the locker room, even though we lost by twenty points.  So I hung up my sneakers for good.

In high school, I ran in the 440 relay.  My real reason for going out for track was because my voice teacher told me running would be good for my singing.  It was.  I lost every race but got the lead in the musical.

When I had kids of my own who showed an interest in sports,

I finally found my true calling.

I was a great fan.

That’s why today is such a great day.

In fact, today is a doubly great day.

This afternoon, I will tune in to watch the Milwaukee Brewers’ Opening Day of Major League Baseball.

Tonight, I will cheer on the Wisconsin Badgers as they play in the NCAA National Championship game.

I have never been so excited to spend hours in front of the television,

but then,

that’s my calling.


brewerFor the first time in five years, the Milwaukee Brewers opened the baseball season with a win, stirring up hope among the faithful for a promising summer.  Then they lost the next five games.  A week later the Brew Crew began a nine game winning streak, causing fans’ confidence to soar.  But it wasn’t long and the losses started piling up – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in a row.  This is what you call a streaky team.  For fans, it’s a roller coaster ride.

In comparison, the leaders of the division (the St. Louis Cardinals – boo!) have one stretch of wins (when they played the Brewers – yikes!).  Most of their season looks like this: L, W, L, W, W, L, W, W.  This is what you call a consistent team.  They lose some games, but win more. For fans, it’s a lazy river ride.

I think my spiritual life resembles the Brewers more than the Cardinals.  I am probably what you’d call a “streaky” follower of Christ.  (Also, I’ve been a streaky blogger, as of late.)   I am gung-ho when it comes to starting a new spiritual discipline, and tend to begin strong before falling into a pattern of fits-and-starts.  If the losses outnumber the wins, I’m tempted to throw in the towel on the whole endeavor.

At least I’m not alone.  In Psalm 119: 5 David wrote, “Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set.” (Message)  “Oh, how I want to follow consistently.” (Living Bible)

The beauty of both baseball and living a steady Christian life (and blogging)  is that every day is a chance for a new beginning.  Every game offers a fresh start — so does every inning……and every at-bat.  God assures us that His mercies are “new every morning” as well.  We just need to keep showing up at the park, keep stepping up to the plate, and keep swinging at the pitch.

I thank God for His steady, consistent love for me.  And for a fresh batch of mercies waiting for me every morning.