Outfield play is so underrated. Often, games are won or lost, runs given up or prevented, based on the proficiency (or lack thereof) of the outfielders. That fly ball that fell in just out of his reach. That ball scorched into the gap that was cut off before the runner could score. That shot no one thought would be caught, but was.
Two keys to outfield play are getting a good jump and taking an efficient route to the ball. Speed, while a nice luxury, won’t make up for a lack of ability to read the ball off the bat and take the best path to the spot where it will come down.
Proverbs 2:9 states something similar about a far more important subject–“…Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course.”
“Then” follows several verses of teaching about getting wisdom. Basically, the premise is that if we seek wisdom, we will find it, and when we find it we will understand things like righteousness, justice, equity, and the best course to take. It seems to me that these are incredibly valuable things to discover!
The benefit of discerning righteousness: our world consistently trips over itself in a quest to determine and declare right from wrong. God’s word, however, is unchanging, as is he. Godly wisdom will give you the ability to discern right from wrong in every situation. It helps you get a good jump on the ball in life, knowing from the start how to avoid making errors and going the wrong direction.
The benefit of discerning justice: in a Christianity Today article, author Paul Louis Metzger describes biblical justice as God’s desire and work to make things and people whole through his goodness and impartiality.1 Wholeness is certainly lacking in and around all of us much of the time. Brokenness pervades our teams and our homes. The ability to understand and bring godly justice to those who are on the short end of the stick is vital for those who call themselves believers in Jesus. You and I are to be God’s instruments of justice on our teams, and only through gaining his wisdom can we understand what that means.
The benefit of discerning equity: It’s one thing to know what is the right thing to do, to understand the wholeness your players and teammates lack; it’s another thing entirely to understand how to administer right and wrong and wholeness with impartiality. Truly, that is an art requiring the skillful direction of God’s Spirit. The more you know of his heart and wisdom, the better your chances of operating with impartiality.
The benefit of discerning every good course: Many young outfielders see a ball in the air and go to where it IS, not to where it will be. Obvious mistakes ensue, as that route will not take them to an intersection with the ball. It is, however, truly impressive to watch a skilled outfielder get a great jump and take the most efficient route to the ball, making even a difficult play look easy. Likewise, those who operate with godly wisdom seem always to know the best course of action, making difficult life circumstances look easier. In truth, it’s not easy…they just know the route to take.
Lord Jesus, show me the good course to take, the one that chases after your heart. Amen.