Filling Your Soul with the Good Word of God

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Life is Full of Strike Outs and Home Runs

The Cubs and baseball
have been a big part of my life
ever since I can remember.
Life is Full of Strike Outs and Home Runs-My whole life I have loved playing sports. Baseball, basketball, football, soccer, you name it, I played it. But of all the sports baseball was at the top of my list. I looked at it as MY sport. Growing up as a little kid and living outside of Chicago, Illinois is where I found my love for America's pastime. Almost every day I would watch a popular Chicago children's television show, Bozo The Clown, on Chicago's own WGN television station. And not too long after Bozo's program would finish Chicago Cubs' baseball would be on in the afternoon. This is where I fell in love with the game of baseball as I watched Ryne Sandberg, Shawon Dunston, and the Cubbies play to the voice of the famous broadcaster Harry Carry. At the young age of three I was mesmerized. This is what started up my own baseball career.
   As a three year old I would run around with my Cubs hat and shirt on along with my ball and glove. I'd throw the ball around and play with whoever would play with me or on my own. As I grew up I played T-ball, machine pitch, and kid pitch baseball for 12 years up through my sophomore year of high school.
   In the game of baseball you have a lot up ups and downs. As a batter each time you step to the plate there is the possibility of striking out or getting a hit. Every time I stepped up to bat it was my main goal not to strike out. I was terrified of striking out. I hated it. Striking out simply was no fun! On the contrary I remember the first time I ever hit a home run.
   My first year of machine pitch, at the ripe old age of nine, I had been having a decent season thus far. It had started out a little rough with quite a few strike outs but I was starting to gain more confidence at the plate. As the pitch came in I swung away at it. PING! went the ball off of the metal bat. As I sprinted towards first base, like I'd been taught, I caught the ball out of the corner of my eye cross over the tallest part of the fence in left center. The cheers from the crowd then followed as I realized I had just hit a home run! What an exciting experience it was to jog around the bases knowing I had just hit my first home run.
   Now over the years I've realized the lessons I learned in baseball are starting to apply to my life. How many times do we "step up to the plate" in our lives looking for the happiness and joy of "hitting a home run"? At times we will find that success, and happiness. But there will be other times when our Heavenly Father is going to throw us some curve balls, or trials, and strike us out, or humble us. Is this because he wants to strike us out and see us go through disappointing times of trials? No, He wants us to go back to the dugout, refocus, practice, or build our faith, and overcome the tough times of trials in our lives so that we can feel more joy of the "home runs" of life. In Alma 36:3 Alma teaches his son Helaman that "whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day."  No matter how many times we strike out as we trust in our heavenly coach, Heavenly Father, he will support us and will lift us up in our times of trial. Our disappointing times of striking out will quickly pass and the joy and happiness of blessings of a "home run" will be ours.

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