Major League Baseball takes a break after this weekend’s series in an event often referred to as the “Midsummer Classic” - the All-Star Game. Growing up, I remember hearing about three All-Star moments that stood the test of time: Ted Williams and his walk-off home run to win the 1941 All-Star Game, Pete Rose barreling over Ray Fosse (effectively ending Fosse’s career), and Reggie Jackson blasting a home run out of old Tiger Stadium in 1971. These moments kept me glued to the screen during every All-Star Game as I grew up, waiting to witness one of those historic moments.
Probably my favorite moment came in 1989 when Bo Jackson crushed an unbelievable shot off of Rick Reuschel from the leadoff spot. It captured the greatness of the event in a single moment - the anticipation of two players at the top of their games, an opportunity to witness next-level greatness, and a moment that would forever be etched in your memory.
I’m kind of sad that the Home Run Derby captures more attention than the game itself today. There’s so much less anticipation around the game and patiently waiting for a generational moment. Oh well, forgive my old man digression for just a second there.
As the event approaches, it’s given me pause to think about being a spiritual all-star. Like becoming an All-Star in Major League Baseball, it takes time and a journey. Nothing about that work is easy and the amount of time it takes to perfect one’s spiritual walk takes, well, a lifetime. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about the habits and practices necessary to get to that level spiritually. None of them sound difficult (prayer, reading the Bible, loving others well), but they are all difficult to practice consistently.
In the midst of difficulty, both in the moment and over the course of days of trial, it seems to me that one of the most important practices is that of embedding God’s wisdom on your heart. Scripture reading and memorization is key to wiring your brain to lean in God during difficulty instead of your own wisdom.
Life represents a long and difficult road, especially when you’re trying to become a spiritual all-star. The best part about such a pursuit is that it’s open to every one of us, while the MLB All-Star Game will only be attainable by a select few. Join me and so many others in that pursuit and encourage others in their journey!