If It’s Close, Swing at It
Day Five – January 12, 2018
As I get older, I have these goofy memory things that happen. I cannot remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I have a vivid recollection of my very last moment of Little League baseball…something that happened fifty-two years ago. My team, Rotary Club was playing some other team for the major league championship. It was the bottom of the last inning, and we were losing by one run. We had two outs and a guy on first base. And I was up to bat. The count was 2-2.
Let me pause the game to tell you that this was my best year of baseball ever. I had the highest batting average on our team, and everyone was glad that I was at the plate. For whatever reason, I wasn’t even nervous. I was seeing the ball really well, and I was pretty sure I had this moment figured out. I was the clean-up batter, so I had to hit the ball hard enough to score, or our chances would start to dwindle.
The wind-up and pitch…BALL…four inches off the plate. I started to breathe again when the umpire called “Strike Three! Batter out!” We all knew that the umpire had a drinking problem, but this was beyond belief. I was dumbfounded. The coaches were screaming at the ump. Even the players on the other team thought it was a terrible call. But the game was over. My last Little League game ended in defeat at the hands of a bad pitch and an umpire who needed another drink.
A few minutes later, Coach Kyre put his arm around me and told me something that I have never forgotten. It was the biggest baseball tip ever. “When you have two strikes, if it’s close, swing at it.”
Let me try to bring this off the baseball field and into your life. I don’t know about you, but I tend to do this all the time. There are some things being thrown at me in life, and I try to handle them myself. I think I have it figured out, but just when I think it is under control, I strike out. I am trying to get better at this.
The Apostle Paul said, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need. . .” Philippians 4:6b. I have started to pray about almost everything in my life…especially the important things that I think I am handling well.
The only way I can do that is to build a daily prayer time into my life. It is a discipline. The best way I have found to do this is to journal during my prayer time. I list ALL the things I can think of that I need from God…not just some of the things. I swing at everything that is close. I don’t want to take His power and participation for granted. I cannot afford to strike out on the important things in life.
Use this twenty-one days of prayer and fasting to start the discipline of praying for everything. I guarantee you that your average will go up!