“Be ready, you’re going to get hit,” said the coach to his leadoff batter in the bottom of the first inning. “Huh?” “Yep, I know the guy on the mound. We hit two of their guys in the top of the inning…he’s going to get one of ours.”

And I did. I nailed that first guy. Right or wrong, they got two of my guys, and I got one of theirs. Some might argue with my “revenge” tactics, but I saw it as taking up for my guys.

Proverbs 17:12 hints at this and something much worse: “Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.”

In other words, it’s better to take a fastball to the ribs than to get caught up with someone who is an idiot.

Ribs heal, but foolish decisions can haunt for a lifetime.

Fastballs can be dodged, but fools for friends always lead to disaster.

I think that’s what this verse is saying. Sure, an angry bear is scary and can kill you, but a fool for company can lead you away from God, sending your soul to hell.

We teach our sons and players how to be protected against a pitch coming toward them, how to deal with bad hops, and how to catch fly balls in the wind, but…

Do we teach them how to avoid foolish situations?

Do we teach them how to navigate around foolish people?

Do we teach them how to simply walk away–run–from foolish temptations?

Be ready, we should tell them, you’re going to get hit by that fool’s fastball, if you don’t get out of the way.

The wounds of baseball can heal. Those inflicted on our lives can be permanent.

Lord Jesus, give me eyes to see foolishness, the courage to run from it, and the wisdom to seek you instead. Amen.