The sun was shining amid a rare breeze, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky….weather you normally see only on a postcard – and seldom in central Texas. The Harvey Little League stands were full of moms, dads, and roasted peanut shells. One brief glance at field #5 and anyone who had eyes and ears could tell the situation was tense and critical, at least for the spectators looking on. The bases were loaded with two outs, and the home team at bat was down by a run in the final inning of play. It was every 10-year old boy’s dream situation…a scenario each eager boy in the dugout had rehearsed in his own mind a thousand times – a once in a lifetime chance to be the big hero (just like on TV)! Yes sir, the dream of every boy on the team….except Teddy that is. You see, Teddy had been content all season to play his inning in the field, take his obligatory turn at bat (as the rules mandated), and afterwards cash in on a delicious grape snow cone with his teammates. The way he looked at things, it made perfect sense. From the dugout he could ponder the upcoming weekend’s activities, blow some Bazooka bubbles, pat other players on the back, and walk home in a clean uniform (if he was careful with the snow cone that is)! On this day, Teddy’s mind was occupied…he had no idea what was happening on the field 40 feet away. He was hoping they were winning, though, because the coach was always happier when they won.
The coach seemed both embarrassed and frustrated when he beckoned Teddy to grab his bat and go to the plate. Teddy had no clue what was going on in the game, so he followed his usual ritual. He tucked the Bazooka gum in his pants pocket, then grabbed a helmet and pulled it down over his forehead to the point where his eyes were barely visible and his ears were sticking out. He then yanked his oversized pants up toward his chest (ala Urkel), and found his bat tucked away in the corner by some discarded gum wrappers. Since the bat always felt too heavy to him, he never found it necessary to expend energy by carrying the bat all the way to the batter’s box, especially when dragging it would work just fine.
Have you ever been there? Yea you have...we all have. Life is just going along just fine - blue skies, head in the clouds, sailing along enjoying your grape snow cone... then BLAM...you're thrown into the raging waters and things begin to mount up against you. Taking a look around and surveying the circumstances, you think to yourself...
"Oh God, Bases Loaded!" And just like Teddy, at that point, we become overwhemled with fear.FEAR- False Evidence Appearing Real!
It stops us in our tracks. It holds us back. It keeps us at a standstill.
The stronghold of fear...False Evidence Appearing Real...hinders us from being all that we are created to be.
In these times all we have to do is stand and take courage that we do not stand alone. Even if you're only standing on the inside, just stand. With courage and determination continue to keep standing and putting one foot in front of the other in order to walk through the false evidence that is appearing real.
In order to cross over that river of fear, we have to come to the edge and put our toes in the water. God will part the waters for you but you have to get your feet wet or as in Teddy's case...step into the batter's box.
So next time you look up and want to breathe...
"OH GOD..BASES LOADED,"...just step up to the plate, stand, steady yourself, and take that first swing. What matters most is not whether you hit the ball or you struck out, but that you faced your fear with courage and determination and made it to the other side.
(I would like to thank my sweet husband for helping me with the baseball game set up in this blog. This happened at one of the many little league games I attended through the years. What a lesson I learned from one of those brave little players, "Teddy!")