If I only knew then what I know now.

What I thought then: be as aggressive as possible, prove what a great hitter you are, swing when it’s close, don’t let the pitcher get ahead in the count.

What I know now: avoiding outs is the key, a walk is just as good as a hit, swing only when it’s advantageous to swing, don’t be afraid to hit with two strikes.

What I was then: relatively impatient, a first-pitch hitter, less productive than I could have been.

What I would be now: patient, selective, unwilling to get myself out.

Of all that, I think “patient” is the key word. So many hitters are impatient, scared to be down in the count, unwilling to wait for a really good pitch to hit. And we wonder why we make so many outs. Patience is hard to quantify, it’s tough to teach, and it’s often overlooked and under-appreciated. But it wins at-bats and wins games.

Proverbs 19:2b–“…he who makes haste with his feet sins”

Those who act without thinking fall into sin. Those who are unwilling to be patient, who act on impulse, who advance before having all the information…these are the ones who may look good initially, but will eventually be their own demise. They’re like the hitter who swings at everything. For a time, he may succeed, but eventually the pitchers figure him out and stop throwing him strikes. After all, he’ll get himself out. Why give him anything good to hit?

Satan is the best opposing pitcher you’ve ever faced. He knows your weaknesses. He knows how to tempt you. He knows the holes in your life. If you operate on impulse, instead of being submitted to and controlled by God’s Holy Spirit, you’re going to get yourself “out” quite a bit…sin will always be the result of hasty and impulsive behavior.

What do you do? Wait for God’s best. Be patient to learn and mature. Be willing to lay off the junk for what is coming later.

Lord Jesus, this requires you. I can’t have a spiritually mature approach to life on my own. I’m so impatient, so impulsive. Change me. Amen.