"I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10
I was seven years old when I trusted Christ as my Savior.
I was eight years old when I first began to play organized baseball.
These two seemingly different pursuits became two of the great loves of my life. Each, in its own way has played a significant part in shaping my life.
One of these two came rather easily to me. The other has been a life-long challenge.
Hitting a baseball and catching a baseball and throwing a baseball just seemed to come naturally to me. Being a faithful follower of Christ was not nearly as natural. It has required energy, focus and effort for nearly six decades.
In baseball, if you get one hit in three times at bat during a game you will have a .333 batting average and that will get you labeled as a great hitter. There are a number of baseball players in the Hall of Fame who didn't have a .333 batting average for their career. If you live for Christ just one day out of three, you will be a poor Christian.
In baseball, if I made an error or struck out or grounded into a double play, when that game was over I could start with a fresh stat line in the next game! As a Christian, my sins and failures seemed to trouble me and haunt me despite God's grace.
Although I have often made analogies between baseball and faith, I never realized how closely they correlated until I discovered the book "Home Run" by Kevin Myers. Kevin is the Lead Pastor at 12Stone Church, a Wesleyan Church in the Atlanta area, which happens to be the fastest growing church in America. In his book, Kevin described spiritual development in the paradigm of the game of baseball. Being a follower of Christ and a fan of baseball I found many helpful applications from the comparisons.
I hope you will, too, as we study it together over the next forty days.