“Swing Like No One is Watching”
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
Week after week I watch my boy strap on his helmet, grab his bat and walk trembling to the batter’s box. Each time the ball comes, he stands paralyzed, unable to move. Starting Little League baseball as a rookie 10-year-old can be quite intimidating, especially in a small Texas town where most of your teammates have been playing since birth.
But something about this night feels different. I watch him strap on his helmet, grab his bat and walk--still trembling--to the batter’s box. He digs his cleats in a little deeper, grips his bat a little tighter and stares with a determined focus at the pitcher. This time when the ball comes, he sends it flying into the outfield.
This new baseball mama wants to jump over the strategically placed barrier fencing between us and tackle #21 as he slides into third base. But wisdom (and my husband) encourage me to practice restraint. So instead, I yell like a crazy woman from my side of the fence.
What made this night different?
I can’t say for sure, but maybe my boy decided he finally felt ready. Or maybe, as evidenced by his still trembling knees, he felt afraid but decided to push through the fear that kept him paralyzed all season, frozen in the ready position. Maybe he decided to swing the bat like he did every evening at home in the absence of his peers and opponents.
Maybe he decided to swing like no one was watching.
The truth is, my boy isn’t the only one who has stayed frozen in the ready position by fear and intimidation. I have too often given in to this enemy who wars against purpose and potential. I have sometimes walked to first base but rarely have I risked it all at the chance to get in the game and bring my teammates home.
Maybe you can relate. You’ve trained, prepared and spent intimate moments with Jesus about this thing you’ve been called to do, but your arms and feet just won’t move. It feels too big, too risky.
Like trusting God with your marriage.
Leading a Bible study.
Sharing Jesus with your neighbor.
Or writing a book.
The Words from our own Coach, God Almighty, challenge us to “be strong and courageous.” They command us to “not be terrified or afraid,” and remind us “the LORD your God goes with you.”
Whatever the assignment before us, no matter the opposition against us, God is always with us. And the opposing team is put on notice when we choose to act even when our knees tremble.
Two innings later as my boy steps up to bat, we hear a voice from the outfield nervously yell, “Big hitter!” and the whole team takes a step back.
The enemy goes scrambling when we choose courage over fear.
When we believe God will do what He says He’ll do, we can do what we’ve been called to do.
When we swing the bat like no one is watching, preparation and purpose explode in God’s power.
Dear Lord, Thank You for creating me with purpose and empowering me to do the things You’ve called me to do. When fear tries to intimidate me and my knees start to tremble, remind me that You are with me. Let courage and strength be my companions. Help me push past every obstacle preventing me from playing my part in Kingdom-building here on earth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (NLT)
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (AMP)