About an hour or so before every game I played, I spent time visualizing what was going to happen in the game. Of course, I didn’t know exactly what would happen, but I knew I would come to the plate, play the field or pitch, run the bases, and so on.

Before a single pitch was thrown, I had played the game in my mind.

I had constructed every at-bat, made every pitch, fielded every ground ball.

When the game started, it was just a matter of getting my body to do what my mind had already done.

I was prepared mentally for every possible contingency the game would throw at me.

Proverbs 22:3–“The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naïve go on, and are punished for it.

My coaches, starting with my dad, taught me the value of visualizing, of seeing, the game before it was played.

Doing so helped me be prepared for what might happen and gave me confidence that I could perform well when the game started.

Far more important is that kind of visualization in life.

Those who are prudent (who understand life and its future possibilities) see the evil around them and its ultimate consequences. They aren’t blind to what’s going to happen. They aren’t assuming they will be the only ones unaffected by sin and unwise choices. They know what evil and godlessness leads to.

So they hide. It’s not that they’re cowards and can’t handle life in the world. To hide, in this sense, means to take precautions necessary to avoid the danger ahead. Like a player who has visualized what could go wrong, the wise person does the same in life.

On the other hand, those who are naïve, believing that evil and sin are no big deal, keep going and wind up regretting it.

To visualize life well, here are two suggestions.

First, know God’s word. Read it. Learn it. Memorize it. Recall it. Knowing Scripture will help you see life as it is and be prepared for its contingencies.

Second, pray daily for discernment. We need discernment beyond what comes naturally to us. In baseball terms, we need to know what to do with the ball before it is hit our way. Pray for that same kind of wisdom in life.

Lord Jesus, give me eyes to see sin and evil, and the courage to run from them. Amen.