Various elements of baseball season are underway or on the horizon in my world. College Season is approaching conference play. High schools are counting the days until games begin. The World Baseball Classic starts today, which means that Opening Day isn’t far. And, evaluation day for my son’s league is tomorrow.

Each of those carries tremendous excitement and potential. Yet, each can be extremely disappointing, if not approached the right way.

At every level, players, coaches and parents, must make a decision. And that decision is based on Proverbs 1:7–“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (wisdom); fools despise wisdom and instruction” (HCSB).

As a player, your skill cannot overcome your unbelief in Jesus. You will simply be a skilled fool.

As a coach, your knowledge of the game and ability to “get the most” out of your players cannot overcome a hard heart, one that is cold toward the things of God. You will simply be a knowledgeable fool.

As a parent, your concern and care for your kids cannot overcome a disregard for your responsibility as a parent before God. You will simply be caring fool.

As the proverb states, the beginning of all wisdom and true knowledge is found in coming to grips with who God is and who we are. To fear God is to honor and recognize Him as the Creator, Sustainer, and Savior of the world. To fear God is to worship Him, and Him alone. To fear God is to acknowledge His control over your life and submit to His desires for you. To fear God is to realize that you cannot get to Him on your own, since He is perfect and you are not–sin causes an impassable divide between you and God. To fear God is, however, also to receive His gracious offer of love and forgiveness–the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ–which bridges the impassable divide.

Only when your life is surrendered to Jesus can your skill as a player, your knowledge as a coach, and your care as a parent, truly matter. Only then are they ordered the way God desires. Only then are you a person of wisdom.

A prayer for those who relate:

Dear Lord Jesus, bring me back to a right understanding of your greatness and my need for you. Take all that you have given me–my skill as a player, my knowledge as a coach, my care as a parent–and bend it to your desires. Teach me to fear and recognize you as the only being worthy of worship. Thank you, once again, for rescuing me from the impassable divide between us. Amen.