An asset to the team. That is how my daughter’s coach would describe her. She was great behind the plate. Her arm could get the best of them out at second base. She could move from catcher to the first base position with ease. Flexible in the outfield. Yet she was batting last. Her coach’s diagnosis: her bat. She had grown over the summer and what she needed was a longer, heavier, stronger bat.
My husband began his research. “Best bats for girl’s softball” was his criteria as he “googled” several sites. He studied their size. He read recommendations from those who also had purchased the bat. He read the manufacturer’s guarantees. He compared results, tests and the cost. After days of investigating, he purchased the “weapon” as he called it.
The day the long, slender box was delivered, my husband tore open the dark cardboard to reveal his new purchase. Red and white, shiny and new; he couldn’t wait to put it in the hands of his daughter. He slipped the bat into her bag. “Hey…want to hit a few balls?” he called out to her. Always eager to have a reason to play, our daughter headed out to grab her bag. Then, she spied it. Her eyes wide with wonder, she carefully slid the heavy, new bat from its case. Her eyes shown. She couldn’t wait to crack a few balls!
The instructions said Madi needed at least fifty good hits with that bat until she would be comfortable with the new feel. They were right; at first she didn’t like it. It was uncomfortable. Since it was heavier, it took more strength to hold up. Because it was longer, the place to connect left wrong. But we kept right on using it; knowing that the research had told us it was the best possible bat for Madi. We played in the yard. We went to the batting cages. We put in the time and effort to be sure that Madi would be well adjusted to her new equipment before she had to use it in a real game.
Now days, Madi is batting at the top of the order! Double, triples, even home runs are her norm. When she gets up to bat, the crowd cheers for her. They know what to expect. She is going to wield that bat, smack that ball and rack up points for her team.
Often in our lives, we, too, are getting along pretty good. We are an asset to our family team. But there is just that one area where we are a bit weak; we’re batting last. Maybe life has ramped up; the trials have gotten harder and we haven’t evaluated the tools we are using. Self-help books, chatting with friends, TV infomercials, internet time. The tools of the past are not getting us to the top of the batting order in life
Maybe the game of our life changed. We need MORE than we ever had before to win. Do we need more time in the Word? Do we need more time in prayer? We need to recognize that as we grown, we need to change up our weapons making sure they fit and will give us the power we need. We need to look for passages in His Word that will empower us in this game called life. We need to ask our Coach Jesus what He sees that needs to change so that we can get to the top of the batting order; living a life of daily victory instead of defeat. The Word is called a two edged sword. It is exactly the right thing we need for our situation, but unless we do the research to find the sword that applies to our lives, it does us no good. Unless we read the reviews of how the sword has worked for others, the testimony of the men and women in the Bible, we may not be convinced that it will really make a difference. Unless we make the investment of our time to get the new tool, we will never know what it is like to bat at the top of the order.
When Madi gets up to bat these days, I feel confident. As her parent, we have given her the weapons she needs to be successful in the game she is playing. Just like Madi, your father has given you the weapons you need too for life. Just like Madi, you are going to need to grab a hold of that weapon, use it many, many times until you are comfortable with the feel. Just like Madi, as you step up to the plate, you will hit a home run!