In honor of the high school baseball practice season beginning this week, here’s another reflection on years past.

Finding a baseball in several inches of snow isn’t easy, but you’re pretty motivated when you have to pay $5 for each one you lose. I’ll never forget that day in 1993. Eight inches of snow. White baseballs. Batting practice. Coach Miller collecting money for each one lost. Never was a group of guys more diligent (and flustered) in looking for something than on that day. But, as frustrating and crazy as it was, Coach taught us a lesson that day. There are times when circumstances are unfair and the deck is stacked against you, but you can’t let it stop you. Life requires that you press on, that you do what you’ve been called to do, no matter how difficult. Being faithful in marriage, being a good parent, excelling at work, or whatever you try to tackle–these things are not easy. They’re sort of like looking for white baseballs in eight inches of snow, knowing you’ll pay for it if you don’t do it right. But, it’s all worth it.

There’s another twist to this, as well. Luke 15 presents three stories of things lost and eventually found. The owner of a lost sheep anxiously and diligently searches for it (despite having 99 others with him). A woman who loses a coin scours her house until it is found. The father of the “Prodigal Son” waits daily for the son’s return. Each story ends with the same result: a party. The sheep owner, coin owner, and father of the prodigal each celebrate the finding or return of what was lost. The point? Luke 15:7–“I tel you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don’t need repentance.” Just as we searched for those baseballs in the snow and celebrated when we found one (saving us $5!), all of heaven celebrates when someone comes to Jesus in faith for salvation and forgiveness.

The lessons? Press on, even when life is like looking for white baseballs in eight inches of snow. Diligently seek out those who need Jesus. And, for many, it’s time to turn from sin and turn toward Jesus, submitting to Him all you are and have (give heaven another reason to celebrate today).