Preparing Like a Baseball Player
Author: Robert Bember
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work.” -Titus 3:1
The first God I served had a weight of five ounces and a circumference of nine inches. The game of baseball had my heart from a young age. My love and commitment to the game grew as I grew.
During five-year-old tee ball, Coach Johnny taught us the importance of a ready position. We were told to have our knees bent and hands on our knees. The most important function of the ready position in tee ball was to keep us from playing in the dirt.
As we aged, the game became more competitive and the ball moved a lot more quickly. The ball would get on you in a hurry. Corner infielders, such as myself, had it the worst. Around middle school, coaches began to teach us to “creep” into an athletic position so that we’d be ready to make a play if the ball came our way.
It became second nature to me. As the pitcher began his motion, I’d step forward with my right then left foot, get onto the balls of my feet, bend my knees and extend my arm with the palm of my Rawlings open. The routine remained the same for every pitch of every game for years. It has carried over to my slow pitch softball career. I could go a long time without a ball coming my way, but I had to be ready as if they were all coming my way
Baseball is a thinking man’s game. Some would call it “slow.” That’s because they don’t know the intricacies. Between pitches, I would mentally prepare for the next pitch. Where are the runners? Where will I go if the ball is hit to me? If it’s to my left? My right? What are my responsibilities on a ball hit to this, that or the other part of the field? What are tendencies of the batter and base runner? What pitch is likely to be thrown in this count? How does my butt look in these pants? The gears were turning every single at bat so that I was ready to make the right play.
Every diving snag, every laser of a throw and every flawlessly executed double play started with the player being ready to make a play. Great players don’t luck into great plays. This is what I envision when Paul tells Titus to remind his people to be ready for good works.
As Christians, we must constantly creep and remain on our toes, not knowing when the ball is going to come our way. We prepare every moment of every day as if we’re going to get the opportunity to make a great play for the kingdom.
It’s crucial to “think the game” of the Christian life to be ready for every good work. Believers need to feel comfortable wielding the Word. We need to faithfully pray in anticipation for the opportunities we may or may not have on a given day.
Consider quizzing yourself from time-to-time to get ready for what is to come. Who will I be around today? What needs might they have? How best can I love them? What strategies might Satan employ on me?
This, like my pre-pitch routine, becomes second nature as we grow in maturity. Our desires change. The process of preparation and the “spiritual creep” become natural elements of our daily life. We begin to want more and more to serve Jesus and look for the opportunities to do so with joyful hearts.
In conclusion, Paul was probably a corner infielder.
Robert Bember was on BYX staff from 2010 to 2016 in a variety of different roles. He now works in real estate for the Todd Tramonte Home Selling Team. Robert graduated from TCU in 2010 with a degree in Journalism.