When I was 12 years old, my team went undefeated. As far as we could tell, it was the first undefeated team our league had seen in some time. We were something. Most of the games weren’t close. My dad had spent three years building the team through the draft (we took our lumps as 10-year-olds). Finally, it paid off. If there were such an award, my dad was Coach of the Year.
Two short years later, I entered high school. The baseball program at Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Louisville, Kentucky already had a rich tradition, built on years of team and individual success. My dad had a choice to make. I’ll never forget what he said to me. “I’ve taken you as far as I can. Now, you go listen to them.” Incredible.
As good as my dad had been as a little league coach, he recognized what I needed. As good as I had been as a little league player, I had a long way to go before I could really be considered a “good” player. I needed to commit my career to those who could take me there.
I’m sure it was tough on my dad. He had always been my coach. He had worked with me more than anyone. My early success was a product of his time, effort, and instruction. Even so, he told me to commit my career to someone else.
As important as “go listen to them” was for my baseball career, my dad also taught me what was most important in life. Following the instruction of successful high school coaches was good, but it paled in comparison to following the instruction of the Creator of the universe.
Proverbs 16:3–“Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (NASB).
What my dad wrote years later in a Bible he gave to me sums it up. Regarding the instruction of the Lord, dad wrote, “Do what He says.”
He always taught me to listen to and follow those who know more than me, in baseball and, more importantly in life. In following the Lord, I have seen His faithfulness proved true more times than I can count. “My pans” have gotten changed as many times, yet God has never failed me.
I encourage you with what my dad wrote. “Do what He says.” Only then will you be “established.”
Here’s a prayer:
Lord Jesus, I’ve been trying to be an all-star in life on my own. Today, I commit my way to you. I need your wisdom and guidance. I realize that I’ve taken me as far as I can, which is down a path of eventual destruction. Turn me around and “establish” me. Amen.