Complete Game has partnered with the Colorado Dugout Club, the high school baseball coaches association. As a part of that partnership, CG will be producing a series specifically for high school coaches. We hope these posts serve to unite, encourage, and resource the baseball community in Colorado and across the country.
Psalm 97:10, “Let those who love the Lord hate evil…”
Can you feel the tension in the picture above? I know I can. I’ve probably caused more of those moments with players than I even realize. It’s not like this coach is preparing to go Bobby Knight on his player and grab him by the throat (yes, I watched The Last Days of Knight this weekend so it’s fresh in my mind), but there’s a high level of conflict here.
As the spring season has progressed, I’ve noticed the amount of time I have to spend outside of competition to get out of an internal state of conflict. Three games in six days raised my frustration and I found my heart in a very judgmental place. I found myself frustrated at other people and paying less attention to my own heart and actions. “Why did their coach create an atmosphere void of joy?” “Why did that coach say that about his own player?” “Why did that coach say that about another team?” Then, during the last game of the week, an opposing player went into second base aggressively when he was clearly out, knocking our second baseman to the ground. I rose up with a “HEY!” and found my body in an angry posture. Our shortstop said something to the player sliding into second as he walked to the opposing coach. Then the opposing coach said something to our shortstop. I’m still bowing up and yelled across the field at their coach.
In reflection, I realized that that moment and my lack of emotional control in that moment had been growing all week. Baseball is a beautiful game where hundreds of little things grow into a crescendo of a big moment or two. It resembles classical music or an incredible film score. While we have no control over where a conductor or author of beautiful music takes what we hear, we do have control over choosing to love and hating evil.
Now that we’re deep into our spring seasons, we have to take a moment to choose love and hate evil. Choose to love that parent who is really after you. Choose to love the player who has just been under your skin. Choose to love your opponents before and after the game. After all, there wouldn’t be a game without them. Make a commitment to yourself to live in the love of the Lord this week and reject evil.