Attend any baseball practice, at any age level, and you’ll likely hear talk at some point about why and how something is to be done. Why do we position ourselves here? Why do we throw to that base? How do we make an adjustment on that pitch? How should we move our feet to make that play?

Why and how are huge questions in the game of baseball. If we don’t understand the why, we will make the same mental mistakes over and over. If we don’t understand the how, we will make the same physical mistakes over and over. The why and how, if properly understood by players, helps establish them long term. Something clicks when they understand those things.

On a broader level, understanding the why and how is much more impactful.

Proverbs 12:3 hints toward it–“A man will not be established by wickedness, but the root of righteousness will not be moved.”

What I’ve found is that many players are afraid of losing their playing time and many coaches are afraid of losing their positions. In truth, there is only one way to absolutely ensure playing time–play better than the guy behind you. And there’s only one way to absolutely ensure you retain your coaching job–win.

Play better and win. Those things are easier said than done, aren’t they? What if neither of those is possible, or neither happens for some reason? What then? What if those things become an obsession for you as a player or coach? Who will you be then?

This verse clearly states that God looks way beyond our playing and coaching ability when it comes to us being “established” and unmoved. What if there was a way to remain established and unmoved, even if you lose your playing time or coaching position?

I think it comes down to knowing why and how you’re doing what you’re doing.

Why am I doing what I’m doing? As a player. As a coach. As a parent. Is it my calling? Is it because I want to honor Jesus with every fiber of my life? Is it because I love this game and love people and see this as a mission field? If you don’t know why, you’ll give up easily, you’ll take shortcuts to an easier outcome, you’ll operate from a different center every day. Nail it down. Why am I doing this?

How am I going to do what I’m doing? As a player. As a coach. As a parent. Am I going to operate with love and grace, even when I don’t receive those things in return? Am I going to work hard, even when those who don’t aren’t punished for it? Am I going to honor those in leadership above me, even when they don’t deserve it? If you don’t know how you’re going to do what you’re doing, you’ll compromise, change, and be confused all the time.

As the verse says, those who operate in wickedness–getting playing time and wins at any and all costs (we know what that means)–will not be established, not by the Lord. But those who sink deep roots of righteousness–doing what they do for godly reasons and according to biblical principles–they are not moved, even if they lose playing time or a job.

Lord Jesus, this isn’t easy. I want to play. I want to win. But today, more than those, I want to please you. Show me how. Amen.