Saturday, March 7, 2015

March 7, 2015

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me." John 15:4

The purpose of coming up to home plate in baseball is to connect with the ball.

I will never forget my first time coming to the plate for my first at bat in college. It was a moment I had imagined and dreamed about for years. When I was playing pick-up games with my buddies on a vacant lot I would pretend I was in college.

But when that moment actually came I was a nervous wreck. My knees were quivering and my hands were shaking and I just hoping no one would notice the twitching.

Adding to the pressure of the moment was the fact we were playing against one of our fierce rivals, Grace College. And Grace College is located in my home town so I had family members there.

And oh, one more thing, the bases were loaded.

The walk from the on deck circle to the batter’s box seemed like a mile. I kept taking deep breaths and letting them out slowly hoping it would relax me.

When I finally got to the batter’s box I stopped before I stepped in and looked down to the third base coach to get my sign. Since bases were loaded and only one out I wasn’t expecting anything other than “swing away”. I tried to envision myself hitting a line drive out into the gap and clearing the based. But when I looked down to the coach he gave me the bunt sign. My mouth went dry. I knew that the bunt sign with a man on third meant it wasn’t just a bunt sign it was a suicide bunt.

A suicide bunt meant that as soon as the pitched released the ball the runner on third would be heading down the third base line at full speed. If I were to make contact with the ball and lay down the bunt he would cross the plate and score. But if I missed the ball he would be a dead duck tagged out by the catcher at the plate.

No pressure.

The pitcher threw the pitch. I squared around to bunt. As I squared to bunt I saw the runner coming out of the corner of my eye and thankfully I saw a waist high fastball also headed my way. At that point my instincts took over and I laid down a perfect bunt.

I had connected with the ball and my teammate connected with the plate and those connections earned me some love from the coaches.

As memorable as that connection was at home plate, it pales in comparison to the thrill I get when I connect with God by faith! The love that comes with that connection is beyond comparison!

In the Home Run life, home plate is where the connection with God happens. Home plate is where everything begins and ends.

And God never gives you the bunt sign! He always says, “Swing away!”