Face to Face with Fear

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Through the end of 2017, Bottom of the Ninth will run a series that will explore some of the spiritual lessons we can learn from our favorite baseball movies. What better way to spend the offseason than to rewatch some of our favorite baseball films while letting the Lord replenish our spirit and love for the game! This week will focus on our final lesson from The Sandlot.

Exodus 4:10, “But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”

How do we deal with our greatest fears?

The Beast in The Sandlot represents the greatest fear for the players. They’ve hit multiple balls over the fence into the junkyard only to have them fall forever into the abyss of The Beast. The account the veteran players give Smalls as the new guy is one of tall tales and folklore. It makes the fear grow and the potential success greater as well.

In the end, the boys come face to face with their greatest fear…and they come to a greater understanding of that fear. The Beast was nothing more than a kind, loving dog who has been keeping all of their baseballs safe for them. When faced with fear, they encounter love.

Moses expresses one of his greatest fears to God - speaking in public. It seems that Moses was living out a Seinfeld joke:

“According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

Moses succumbs to this fear, exasperating God in spite of His exhortation and empowering of Moses. Even after telling Moses that it is God who decides who speaks and who listens, Moses begs God to send anyone else. Though angry with Moses and his lack of desire to encounter his greatest fear, he loves Moses enough to accomplish His plans with Moses through his brother, Aaron.

Jesus responds differently to his greatest fear. While in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus begs for the cup to be taken from him, but follows that expression of fear with possibly the most important response in history - “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

As we encounter fear in the game or outside of the game, I hope we will all face fear head on and encounter the incredible love of our Father in Heaven.