Spring is in the air and soon we will be hearing the joyful noise of a ball hitting leather and the crack of baseball bats once again. March brings in not only the competitive season of college baseball, but also the beginning of the high school baseball season as well.
Growing up, sports were always part of my life; I played baseball, football, basketball, and soccer as a child. I lettered in three sports in High School (Football, Wrestling, and Baseball). My participation of sports even continued in college as I wrestled four years at Maryville College. I also worked as the intramural director while in college, so not only did I get to direct all sorts of sports, but of course I would have to compete in every event as well. After college, my involvement with sports did not end. I coached high school wrestling and baseball while in Louisville.
I say all this to point out that of all the sports that I have played, two have stuck out to me: Baseball and Wrestling. That is because, not only do I see the physical value of the sport, but they also have helped me spiritually in developing me into the man that I am today. Not that I am perfect, but I am more like Christ because of the discipline that comes through these two sports.
I see baseball as an illustration of the Gospel. I see the perfect manicured fields and the simple game that a child can play at the age of five in his backyard with sticks and rocks as what God planned this world to be back in the Garden of Eden.
However, baseball also reminds us of our failures. It is a game of errors, strikeouts, and mistakes. You are considered one of the greats if you are successful 3 out of 10 at bats in your career. Therefore, anybody that has ever played the game knows that we all make mistakes, we all fail. Baseball is a game of failure, and it is because we all fail is why we need a Savior. And, that Savior is Jesus Christ and if we repent and believe then we can have a right standing with God once again.
Once we repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord, Savior, and Treasure, the God of this universe will through His Spirit start making us look more and more like His Son Jesus Christ. Therefore, we will start to grow in our faith. Jesus told us that if you love me then you will keep my commandments. I see baseball being an image of that as well. God did not give us commandments to be burdensome to us, but to help us get the most joy out of life. Just like in baseball, if there were no rules it would be total chaos, with people running around with bats and throwing balls everywhere. However, we have rules to get the most joy out of the game of baseball, just like we have commandments to get the most joy out of life.
Therefore, I love baseball because it points me to the Gospel. Not only that, but it is also a tool for discipleship. So, as you enjoy the sport this spring and summer, remember not to waste baseball thinking it is about you, use it as a tool, to point you to Christ.