After a brutal, crushing winter, summer has come to our small, American town. Up and down Main Street, flowers bloom, splashing color, dripping happiness from hanging baskets and overflowing boxes.
From my quiet spot overlooking the yard, I recall the ruthless winter storms that threw down layer upon layer of white, fluffy snow like so many down comforters, burying The Three. Now, an emerald carpet spreads, vibrant, alive, and morning dew catches the sun, glittering like a “fousand million” diamonds spilled by the Jeweler’s hand.
From up the road, shouts from a different kind of diamond drift from nearby baseball fields on lazy summer nights. We’ve spent hours there already, hollering for a certain young man who wears the number one, blue eyes shining beneath his cap. His strike zone’s a little bit wider than it was last year, and he’s running the bases in cleats.
It’s elemental, the Pee Wee League. It’s Baseball 101. But from where I’m sitting in the stands, it’s more than mere baseball. It’s Life Fundamentals 101.
When the season began back in May, Little Schrock, who’d been hitting last year, suddenly found himself struggling. Night after night, he fanned out, unable to touch bat to the ball. “His timing is off,” Coach said, assessing, and took him aside for instruction.
That was all it took. After some extra practice and Coach’s focused attention, it clicked. And all at once, the kid who’d struck out every time was hitting. Nearly every time, and tearing up the baseline in those cleats.
Right there is lesson one, which I learned in the stands on my seat. When we’re experiencing failure, you and I, we need help. There’s no shame in seeking it, so that stinkin’ thinkin’ needs to go. Somewhere, there’s a “coach,” an expert, a wisdom person who is strong where we’re weak and can help. Find that one. If you’re troubled about it, ask God to send the right person your way. He’s faithful and kind, and He’ll do it.