Wednesday, September 28, 2011

POV Wednesday – Keep on Swinging

Recently, I saw Brad Pitt’s new movie, Moneyball, based on the true story about the Oakland A’s baseball team rebuilding to compete in the Major Leagues at a fraction of the budget of other powerhouse clubs. (For my review CLICK HERE).

This post, however, is about an important POV I garnered from the movie, something I think the game itself teaches.

Here’s the gist. A loss does not automatically equal failure.

See, in the movie, Pitt’s character, General Manager of the A’s Billy Beane, took a team of has-beens and hurt players, paid them the minimum because that’s all he had, and ended up with a winning season. They even set a League record of most consecutive wins (20) in a season. At the end, though, Beane laments over their loss in the post-season that ends their bid for the World Series. He felt that if they didn’t win the big game, the rest of the season was a failure.

He discovers, however, through the help of a colleague and his 12-year-old daughter that what he and the A’s had accomplished that season was phenomenal, record-breaking, and impressive. He’d ‘won’ in a manner of speaking. He just couldn’t see for the forest for the trees, or the trees for the forest. Either way.

How many times did Babe Ruth strike out during his career? In reality, he struck out twice as often as his contemporaries, 1330 times in regular season play. Yet, he’s known as one of the best, if not the best, player of all time.

It’s because baseball is about milestones – stats and records and reaching bars set by those who came before. Sure, they tally losses and errors, but a successful (or winning) career is based on much more than that column in the stat book.

Life is the same. No one can get to the end of it with ‘wins’ in every column. No one bats 1000. No one pitches perfect every game. No one never drops a fly ball.

Perfection is a tough business. In fact, no one can do it. Only one Person in history has, and He was not only human, but God as well.

We should give ourselves a break. What’s more, we should give other people a break.

Yes, Jesus said to be perfect, as He is perfect. Thing is, He didn’t mean for us to do that in our own power. He knew we couldn’t do it apart from Him.

I think I’ll try looking at life a little more like baseball. Of course, the aim is to catch the ball every time, throw a strike every time, win every contest – aka Do My Best. But when I don’t, I’m going to keep on swinging - concentrate on milestones, on my step by step journey as I move forward. I’m going to live free of condemnation because Christ has paid everything for me to have the privilege. In fact, His name in the ‘win’ column is all that’s needed.

Hope you’re having a great week, Dry Ground friends! Be blessed! Remember, to quote a movie fave: Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game! (Cinderella Story, 2004)

(photo by


Susanne Dietze said...

Hi Lori! Great post. I've been battling the Perfection Monster lately and I needed this reminder.