Smith, R 6/17/18
Some things I have learned playing slow-pitch softball. I play on a slow-pitch softball team. I would like to say I am an old has-been, but I am more a never-was! There are some interesting lessons/ parallels I have learned; I share them with you now.
- YOU MUST INVEST—Baseball/softball is a summer sport; you can’t play the game year round. Each season, players are a little “rusty” at the start, and there are new players on the team. The first 2-3 games of each season I find myself thinking: “This team isn’t as SPECIAL as last year. We are not as GOOD as last year. I don’t feel a CONNECTION with this team. Oh well.” But the more time we spend together—on and off the field—the more we play and battle and argue and laugh and work together, the closer we become. And by the end of the season, I have a new group of fellas I call friends and feel honored to play with.
- YOU CAN’T SCRIPT GAMES—Baseball/softball is different than many other sports in that the game “comes to you.” By that I mean that in many other team sports you can give the ball to your superstar and let them lead you to victory. In baseball/softball, you ONLY bat when it is your turn in the line-up and on defense you can ONLY make a play when the ball is hit to you. All you can do is try to be ready when it is your turn and support your teammates when it is their turn. You never know from play to play whose turn it will be! It is frustrating and very cool at the same time.
- YOU ARE IN THE GAME—When your team wins, you forget all the little mistakes, bad calls, lucky calls, lucky bounces, bad bounces, wouldacouldashoulda; when your team loses, you agonize over those same things! But after awhile, you realize that you will not get every call or every bounce, make every play, win every game; the important thing is that you are IN THE GAME AT ALL! The only “loss” is to have the desire to play and contribute and risk something, but choose not to participate at all out of FEAR—that is the only real defeat. There’s an old saying: “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s HOW you play the game.” I amend that to say it’s THAT you play the game!
There are many parallels to our church, our faith community, to you and your family, and to LIFE in general, but I will leave it to you to draw those conclusions for yourself.
PLAY BALL; GET IN THE GAME; BE NOT AFRAID!
~ Rick Smith, Youth Minister