Johnny Bench, Eric Davis, Barry Larkin, Cal Ripken, Jr. That’s a list of my favorite players from my childhood through college years. Three are Hall of Fame players and all were stars in their own right during the primes of their careers. Yet, interestingly none of them are still playing. They all, at one point or another, were told either by their bodies, declining skills, or a team, that they just couldn’t do it any more.
Think about it, by the time these outstanding players reached their forties, they were essentially done with baseball as a player. Imagine that. Everything you’ve ever known, over. The truth is that all of us face the same thing. My career ended after college. For others, it ends in or after high school. The select few go on to the Minors and the elite make it to the Big Leagues. Yet, the same baseball fate awaits us all: it will one day be over. What will you have to show for it?
If your focus is only on becoming a better baseball player, setting records, reaching a certain level, or making money, you’re missing out on the totality of what this game can offer you.
Check this our from Proverbs 19:8–“The one who acquires good sense loves himself; one who safeguards understanding finds success” (HCSB). Baseball, and sports in general, are far more valuable than what is reflected in the score book the record book, or the pocket book. What will you have when it’s all over? Will you have acquired good sense and understanding about life through the game? It’s possible if you’re paying attention to what really matters.
Baseball skills decline with age, but good sense and understanding will last a lifetime. Only the fool looks to the short term and forgets the long term. Don’t be the one who becomes skilled as a player and a fool in life.
Dear Lord Jesus, I ask for your grace to give me good sense and understanding. Live through me in such a way that I see clearly what is most important and what lessons I can learn through the game that will last me a lifetime. Because I will get older and my body and skills decline, teach me now to lean on you and not the game of baseball, for my strength and security. Amen.