“What can I say…Big wow, but what’s it got to do with baseball?” - Annie Kinsella, Field of Dreams
Really, what does baseball have to do with our faith? The world would tell you that it has nothing to do with faith. There are some coaches, even Christian coaches that would tell you that there’s no place for your faith when you’re on the field.
What does Jesus say?
Baseball is a physical game. And it just so happens that Jesus performed many physical miracles. He physically healed people from physical sickness and disabilities. He even physically brought people back from the dead. And do you know what happened to all of those people? They all died a physical death. In the case of poor Jairus’ daughter and Lazaras, they had to physically die twice! Gee thanks, Jesus. So why did Jesus do it?
In John 9:1, “As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
After saying this to His disciples, Jesus heals the man born blind, which raised a huge controversy with the religious leaders because the healing was done on the Sabbath. After a big debate between the Pharisees and the man, the so-called religious leaders threw the man out of the synagogue. When Jesus heard about it Jesus revealed Himself to the man as the “Son of Man” and the man believed.
Then Jesus says in verse 39, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”
Jesus physically heals the man born blind, not to improve the rest of his physical life, but to point to what He came to do spiritually. Jesus did not come to save us from physical death. He came to save us from spiritual death. He came so that those who do not see may see.
The physical was never about the physical. Jesus always used the physical to teach us spiritual truths. In the same way, baseball isn’t about baseball. I believe that the purpose of baseball is to point us to spiritual truth. So what’s the spiritual significance to the practice plan? What’s the spiritual significance to how we warm up, field ground balls, line up cuts and relays, etc.? What does baseball really have to do with our faith? Answer: EVERYTHING to those who have eyes to see.