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Friday, October 22, 2010

Nobody Bats 1000

Funny thing is, I knew this was going to be the subject of Dry Ground before I had the day I had! Thanks, Lord, for the object lesson.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

“Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”

This quote is central to a cute, young-girl-targeted popcorn flick from a few years ago, The Cinderella Story starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. Don’t let the source, though, deter you from the great lesson this line teaches. Yes, it almost seems cliché, but boy if I haven’t had days when I’ve had to remember it.

Like today.

You see, I’m really bad at striking out. Yea, I know, everybody does, but I just can’t stand it. I analyze all the ways I could have done better, obsessing over the hindsight 20/20 that I feel should have been foresight. I end up beating myself up.

Or…

I become the Queen of Excuses. If I can find a way to explain it away as not my fault, then I can feel better about myself.

Both extremes are unhealthy, unattractive, unproductive, and stunt growth.

I’ve been watching a little of the World Series playoffs. Often when watching baseball, I marvel at the pressure of both the pitcher and the batter. In meeting after meeting, one of them is the winner, and one is the loser.

So, what kind of game would it be if the batter quit after one strike out? Or the pitcher walked off the mound after every homerun?

Well, my problem is that on occasions (or days) that I strike out, I feel like quitting. Game over. The other team can have it.

What a crybaby I am. J

If I don’t embrace the strike out, though, I miss the essence of God’s grace.

Giant leap? I don’t think so.

If I don’t admit that I’m a sinner in need of atonement, then I deflect the exact purpose and definition of grace. I don’t lose God’s love when I sin. When I confess, I experience His love more.

As Paul said in Romans 6, though, I don’t sin deliberately in order to gain more of His grace. The amazing fact is that when I do, I don’t have to hide because His grace is there and abundant and sufficient.

Basically, I get another at-bat. A second chance. A do-over.

If I quit the game, no more at-bats for me.

So, after days like today, I have a choice.

Quitting the game is an option.

But wouldn’t it be better if I owned the loss and relied on grace to pull me through to a new day?

Going through this process (over and over and over) also helps me extend that grace to others having a strikeout kind of day. After all, none of us bat 1000.

But if we keep swinging, eventually, odds are, we’ll hit one out of the park.

Happy Weekend, Dry Ground friends! Love you!

(photo by photobucket.com)

4 comments:

Jenni said...

Great reminder of the purpose of God's grace. Thanks for sharing that today!

lynnrush said...

AWESOME! Great post. You're right. Man, I don't know where I'd be without Grace . . .

Thanks for this.

KM Wilsher said...

I have a quote, it's my own: You can't hit the ball if you don't swing the bat. . .

I like yours better. Because I too, so often, wanna give up after I hit a strike :/

So here I go! And because I read Dry Ground, I'll do it with gusto! Thank you!

Susanne Dietze said...

I needed to read this today, Lori! Thanks so much. Praise God for His grace...