Taking a Pitch

taking-a-pitch.jpg
taking a pitch
taking a pitch

As a player I was never a great hitter. I was able to stay in a lineup through college because I could catch, block, and throw. However, one of the benefits to not being a great hitter is you have to learn how to hit, while other guys are just gifted. After playing I immediately started coaching, and at the beginning was a little bit intimidated to start coaching hitters, however I quickly learned that my lack of ability resulted in my increase in study and ultimately made me a much better hitting coach than I ever was a hitter. If you have spent much time around hitting it becomes apparent that you can learn almost as much from watching a kid taking a pitch as you can from watching someone swing. I began to learn this as a catcher, where I would watch a guy take a pitch early in a count and could very quickly see how I wanted to pitch someone, especially if it was a new guy we didn’t have a book on. When a hitter takes a pitch you can learn a lot from how their hands load, where their weight is located, and how their hips look, among other things, and often the best hitters are the ones that see a greater number of pitches (take Adam Jones out of the equation). Now this post is very closely tied to my own devotional life and what God is currently teaching me. My family and I are currently in a big transition, from doing ministry with FCA in Colorado to beginning the next season with FCA in the Dominican Republic. Currently, we have left Colorado and are living in South Carolina raising funds so that we can permanently relocate and start over in the DR. This has been a dream of mine for quite some time, since I played with Athletes in Action in Nicaragua I have known that God was calling me to work among the poor specifically in Latin America. Now that we are on the final stages of this move all I want is to get there, settle in, figure out life, and start doing ministry. However, I am in a waiting season, I am entirely dependent on God to take these next steps, and it is driving me crazy. Lately I have been spending my devotional time in Colossians, and a mentor of mine gave me a little resource called a SOAP Journal; which stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. I have been spending extended time lately on just one or two verses and praying for God to push to the forefront things that He is specifically speaking to me through His Word. This morning I spent time looking at Colossians 1:11-12 which says, “May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” As I was praying, “endurance”, “patience”, and “joy” stood out for me as key words to pray through. What does it mean for us to joyfully wait on the Lord? Joyfully wait on His will, timing, and sovereignty to become clear. I have never been good at waiting, I want things my way, on my time table, and when it does not work out that way I get discouraged, however, God often has very different plans than the ones we have created. God seemed to light up the idea of joyfully accepting His plan, even when all my heart wants to be in the Dominican, yet I have no control. Can I praise Him in the waiting? Can I honor Him in my patience? We learn the most about a hitter through their patience, and the best hitters have the greatest amount of patience. Could this be the same for our spiritual lives? Do we learn the most about ourselves when we patiently wait on the Lord to make clear what He is doing, instead of jumping on the first pitch that may be four inches off the outside corner? Through our waiting we identify or mentors in our life can identify where our spiritual hands, hips, and weight are located. I pray that as we all go through seasons where God is impressing patience upon us, we can joyfully accept that His plan is greater than ours and use those seasons as opportunities to identify things in our hearts.