Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3

Baseball season is upon us. Really.

Coach Jeff, Dugout Mom Natasha, Cubs hind catcher #6 Colin.
Don't forget the coaches in the stands.

That's where I got caught up.

Yes, it is embarrassing and not very "Christian like." No, I didn't cuss or get kicked out of the park. It was worse.

I got convicted of my sin.

Let's start from the beginning.

As you know, we are a busy family. We encourage Colin to participate in different activities. We hope for him to make new friends, learn new skills, and just be an overall well rounded kid. We don't want him stuck in the house watching Sponge Bob Square Pants or playing XBox.

So, now we are into baseball.

Jeff is coaching and I'm in charge of getting the kids ready to bat, aka Dugout Mom. You know, the mean one who makes the kids stop swinging bats in a 4 X 10 enclosed area, no name calling, leave that bad play on the field because its over, and the game is not over yet so don't get so cocky mean ol' lady who doesn't really know where left and right field are (just that they are in the corners).

The kids are great. They are actually pretty good. I think they have even made a double play or two. Lots of in the park home runs. They really know how to get in the game. Coach Jeff (say it "Coach Jayeeff" as #6 calls him), has a pretty good batting line up with the players in good positions.

Like with any sport (kid league or professional) there are the sideline coaches. Last night I got a little caught up in the yelling coming from some parents on telling the kids where to stand on the field and all that. I told the kids that the coach was in the dugout and they should listen to him. Maybe I should have said that, maybe I shouldn't. After all, my job (which pays big bucks in smiles and high fives) is to keep the kids in line and make sure they don't kill each other with aluminum flying objects.

No, I didn't show myself or be ugly. The kids were looking at the dugout like they were trying to figure out what to do, so I told them listen to Coach Jeff (remember, 2 syllables, not 1) and not to the calls from the stands. I told the kids that, but did I? No. It frustrated me. I wanted to be ugly and say ugly things. I didn't, but I wanted to. It just burned inside of me. Sometimes thinking it is just as bad as doing it. My face was hot and red all the way home. How dumb! What good did it do to yell above the yelling from the sideline coaches to tell the kids to listen to Coach Jeff? What good did it do to allow that yelling from the stands to burn inside of me? It didn't do any good at all. How dumb!

After bringing the game home with me, I felt guilty, um, convicted of bringing myself down to a level I shouldn't have. I am there for those 10 kids. Like Coach Jeff said, to make sure they are safe and having a good time. After all, they are 6, 7, 8 , and 9 years old. They are kids. We are there for them. Regardless if we have our coach's application filled out or our spot in the bleachers. It is about the kids.

God has blessed me with a child who reminds me everyday that it doesn't matter if you win or lose, but it is about the experience, the moment. Thank you, Colin, for that reminder. Sometimes Mama needs to be brought down a notch. Colin asked last week when we headed home from a game, "Mama, who won?"

My response, "Colin, I love you!"

He smiled so big and asked again.

"You won, baby." I told him.

"Oh," was his reply.

Then, last night as we prayed at bedtime, Colin thanked God for allowing him to have his ballgame. No, he didn't thank God for his good hit and not getting out. He didn't thank God for the balls he went after. He thanked God for the opportunity to play. HOW HUMBLING.

Lord, thank you for Colin. Thank you for a child who makes a mother humble herself and check her attitude. Thank you for the faith of a child. Father, please instill in me the faith of a child. How precious. How humbling. How close to You that will bring me. Lord, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the lives of these precious children. Help me to be a role model for them. Allow me to minister to them while they are playing to make them appreciative of the opportunity to play ball. As I think of that opportunity to play, Lord, I have to thank You for allowing us to live in a place where we have the freedom to enjoy our lives and not have to live in constant fear of our lives and safety. What a blessing that is, Father. I ask, Dear Lord, that You will help me to hold my tongue, that nothing would come from my mouth that would bring shame to You. Lord, thank You for the Holy Spirit that convicts me of my sin. As Your child, I want to please You in all that I do. I praise You for all that You ARE and all that You DO. Thank you, Dear Lord, for your Son Jesus that through Him I have everlasting life. In HIS NAME I pray. Amen.

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