Perfect Pitch

Sometimes I do my best thinking while I’m in the car.  This is my private time with God usually as two young children fill my ears and attention when I’m at home, and when I’m at work, it’s hard to focus for long stretches of time on Him.

Today a strange metaphor came to mind during this time that I want to share with you.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

The trials in life are kind of like individual pitches in a baseball game.  Each pitch is an opportunity.  The pitch – fast, slow, sliding, curving, or sinking – must be quickly discerned (May the Lord help you if you’re facing a knuckleball thrower because it can do all three at the same time if that’s the case!).

Each of those trials is capable of blowing right by you untouched into the catcher’s mitt and striking you out at the plate.  Equally, each of those pitches represents an opportunity for you to individually shine.

Before you step in the batter’s box, you get your signal from the third base coach (the Spirit) who in turn is relaying the expectations and the game plan from the manager (God).

You step in the box and the pitcher starts his wind up.  Your eye tracks the pitcher’s arm and watches for the ball.  If your vision is clear then you can see the ball’s seams and “read the pitch.”  The spin and release point tell you whether it’s a sinker, slider, fastball, changeup, or curve and give you a fair idea of whether the pitch will be a ball or a strike.  Then and only then do you decide whether you should swing.

What makes the “read” hard for mankind is that our vision is not clear.  It is clouded because of the obstructions of sin, doubt, and unfaithfulness.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:3-5

When you can’t see the pitch, rarely can you hit it, and when you do, you usually hit it on the ground or pop it up sharply and get yourself out easily.  How can we see the pitch, the trial, for what it is and recognize what God wants us to do with it?

We have to admit our faults.  Our vision sucks.  His vision is perfect.  When we accept Christ into our hearts and place our faith in Him, He will start to heal our vision and turn it into His.  By trusting our coach on when to swing for the fences, to hit for contact, or to bunt as part of the game-plan, our vision will improve more as we know what pitches we should be looking for when we step up to the plate.  Our chance to really shine and put the ball in play increase as a result.

The pitches start coming.  You might hit a solid base hit, drop a bunt, hit a home run, or get yourself out on strikes, but even if you do, there will be another chance soon and you’ll get to step into the box again and look for your pitch once more.


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