Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Baseball with a Lesson

I love how much Aaron is enjoying playing baseball!

His coach is a CLASS ACT! He challenges the children to become better players, teaches them the skills they need to improve, and is their biggest cheerleader. I'm so thankful that Aaron has been able to work with this coach.

Once he teaches the children a skill, he expects them to perform that skill properly, and when they miss a ball 3 times in a row, he makes them run a lap! He teaches them to have excellent sportsmanship, to be disciplined ball players, to have good attitudes, to cheer their other teammates on, and to LOVE the game of baseball. We have been incredibly blessed to be on this team this Spring.

Last week during one of their games, the children on this team had to witness a terrible act of selfishness, pride, and loss of self control from an opposing team's coach and the umpire. My child was exposed to words that he'd never heard before(yes, the word that is culturally accepted to be the worst one) and the worst kind of poor sportsmanship that you can imagine. Unfortunately that display of poor sportsmanship by two grown adults ended in calling "GAME OVER", and the children were left wondering what in the world had happened ... and if it was something that they had done wrong!

I'm so sad that pride over an umpire's call became the most important thing on that ball field. I'm sad that my child had to witness the ugliness between those two people. Unfortunately, he had a front row seat since he was playing catcher when it all went down. However, I'm thankful that Aaron's coach is a man of integrity.

He pretty quickly pulled the children off of the field and put them in a huddle. He waited for the argument to be over and then put his team back on the field and ran a practice with them, so that they were able to keep playing baseball. After all, that's what they came to do. When he was done with practice, he put the boys back in a huddle and told them that he was going to explain what happened the best that he could. He told them that some adults made some bad decisions today. He told them that they(the children) did nothing wrong and that they played a great game and did well! He said that when bad things like this happen we can learn from it. We can learn that what the children saw today was poor sportsmanship and that we ought to never be poor sports. We should never act like that. He encouraged their confused little hearts and got them excited about their upcoming game.

I wish that Aaron had gotten to finish playing that game. (especially considering all the guests that came to see him play that day - special friends Brent, Amy, and Hannah - my Mom, Dad, and two nieces came all the way from VA) I wish that he didn't have to see two grown adults lose their self control and shout obscenities at one another. I wish that he didn't have to experience the disappointment of not being able to finish the game.
However, we live in a world full of imperfect people. So, we prayed together that night for the two men who lost it at the baseball game. We prayed for their hearts. Just as I am praying that my own heart be guarded from pride that can so easily overtake me, I pray that these men will come to care more about the little people on the field than themselves.
Isn't that just how it is with pride? We are all affected by it. We are all overcome by it at one time or another.
How can we guard ourselves from it?

Ironically, that very morning I was at a worship leader's summit at my church where my pastor was speaking on the topic of pride. It resounded with me on so many levels because pride is something that can so easily and stealthily sweep me off my feet.
These are some of the bullet points from Pastor Larry:
1. Meditate on Scripture that will cause us to walk in humility
2. Have a shepherd's heart - care more about the people we are leading than ourselves.
3.  Pray for the glory to be all God's and to be free from the fear of man.
4.  Pray that the Word would be exalted
5. Pray for the person of Christ to be exalted
6. Thank God for his unspeakable kindness

Those words of wisdom are a great start to humility in Christ. I will continually pray for this to be my own heart and attitude, and I will teach it to my children because they do and will continue to struggle with pride.

1 comment:

  1. How awful :( Sounds like Aaron's coach did a really good job explaining it. Hopefully the other coach and umpire received some kind of disciplinary action, so the kids can see it doesn't pay to loose your temper and have bad sportsmanship.