My son has never officially played baseball. Until this summer.
He didn’t even have the proper equipment; but several of his friends wanted to play and thus, in typical teenage fashion, he decided to give it a try.
I sat watching the team practice last night.
The heat was intense, but I found a somewhat shady spot and was able to do some work while halfway watching the boys do their thing out on the dusty, windless field on a warm summer evening in the final days of the month of June.
I noticed when my son was in the outfield, he was unable to catch several balls that landed in his vicinity.
I further noticed that when he was up to bat, he missed nearly every pitch.
My heart was breaking for this kid that is so used to excelling at most of which he attempts. Not long after attempting it.
And then, something magical happened.
I happened to look up just in time to see the head coach, who had been feeding pitch after pitch, slowly walk up to my son.
He put his arm around my son’s shoulders, spoke some words of encouragement, gave some helpful advice, and calmed the nerves I could nearly feel in my own chest, radiating from my firstborn, down on the ball field.
The next thing I saw and heard, was the loud cracking of the bat hitting the ball.
The ball flew over the field like a soaring eagle. Then, another. Then, another! He successfully hit as many as he had formerly missed.
I do not know what the coach said to my son that fateful night of practice.
I do not know what my son heard.
Yet, it was obvious to me, from the shelter of the shady stands, that a deep connection was made between the coach and my son.
A connection that allowed my newly minted baseball playing son to successfully diagnose a good pitch and make some dang contact with that stubborn little stitched ball.
We all need a little one-on-one advice now and then.
Whether it be from a trusted mentor, a caring supervisor, a concerned parent, or a worried friend.
When we continually miss life’s pitches, it is not only wise, but admirable, to seek a trusted adviser.
A coach who knows the game inside and out. A friend called Jesus, who has walked this earth and seen, heard, and felt the very human struggle we feel today, so many years later.
Only Jesus can adequately get us back in the game, when we have somehow managed to dismally strike out.
It does take seeking Him. Spending personal time with Him. And trusting Him fully.
Jesus is the most incredible life coach this side of Heaven (actually, both sides of Heaven, if you wanna get technical).
And He truly wants nothing more than to take each soul aside, put those nail-scarred hands on each weary shoulder, and lovingly share some game-changing tips for the great American sport we call ‘Life.’
I was so blessed to witness a tender moment between my son and a caring coach.
Just those few moments of personal interaction made such a huge difference.
Imagine how life-changing a few moments of daily personal exchange with God’s only Son could be.
Give it a try, what do you have to lose? And you may just find that all of those pesky strikeouts suddenly morph into a heroic home-run of new understanding, and a peace that is positively life-altering.