We study the game. We go to conferences. We make practice plans. We scout opponents. We are meticulous in our preparation for the upcoming season. Nothing escapes our notice.
But if we aren’t careful, the most important thing will escape us and we’ll be begin the slow but inevitable drift away from where we know we need to be.
Proverbs 4:23–“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
When the Bible mentions a person’s heart, it’s not referring to just an emotional feeling, or a gut instinct. Instead, a person’s heart, according to the biblical view, is the center of who that person really is–emotions, thoughts, decisions, actions, preferences, instincts, values, convictions. No wonder the wise writer of Proverbs tells us to watch over that part of us.
Everything we do flows from some part of our heart. What we feel, how we think, the choices we make, the beliefs we have–that sums up who we really are. If we don’t have a handle on those things, if we don’t watch them with vigilance, if we don’t guard what goes in, there’s no way we can be the people God wants us to be.
It’s the same as with our baseball preparation. If we don’t work hard on the fundamentals of hitting, fielding, pitching, running, and all the rest, we can’t be productive individually or as a team. Letting those things slip is a recipe for eventual defeat.
Watch what you take in. We can’t help but be affected and influenced by what we put in front of our faces. What we read, watch, and see is powerful. Don’t underestimate it.
Watch what you mull over. Whatever you and I think about most will determine how we react and what we choose in any given situation. The more we meditate on the word of God, the more it will become part of us.
Watch what you say to yourself. The voices in your head are a good indicator of where your heart is. What do they say about you, about your role on the team, about your teammates, about your players, about your coaches? Eventually, if those inside voices aren’t guided, they will become outside voices with detrimental effects.
Today, focus as much on your heart as you do on getting ready for the next season, practice, or game. Watch your heart, then watch how God shapes it.
Lord Jesus, I give you my heart, who I really am. Eliminate what is not of you. Amen.