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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

No Margaritas, but Plenty of Baseball and Jesus

I have to get ready for my very last 2nd Grade Fiesta, so I have no time to write this morning.  Although, I do want to point out that in my past experiences at this event, I have not once encountered a margarita machine, so calling this little shindig a fiesta is a bit of a scam in my book.  Anyway, with practices and/or games every night for the next two weeks at least, there is nothing in my head except for God and baseball, so I'm copying and pasting from last year.  (By the way, there is a giant lack of paragraph structure going on here. Even if I knew how to fix it, I have no time.  Just deal.)

Have a bueno day, amigos!

He Sees You Out There

As I sit in bleachers at many a youth baseball game, I love to hear the various phrases shouted by parents and coaches as they try to encourage the players.  Some phrases are "old school" that we've all heard before.  "Good eye!";   when a batter lets a pitch out of the strike zone go by.  "Way to fight that off!";  when a kid hits a foul ball.  As a batter gets up to the plate:  "Whaddya say, #2?"  Pop fly to the outfield?  "You gotta run that out, kid!" for the runner and "Can o' corn!" for the outfielder.  (Like I said some are old school and I have no idea what they mean.)

Some phrases are unique to certain coaches and parents.  One of our parents likes to shout "Lay off that high cheese!" when a pitch comes in too high. (I've never asked where that comes from.)   One of Kyle's coaches likes to say "On the hop, boys!" (That means do it now or hustle.)  One of my favorites is when a pitch comes in a bit too close to one of our players, and one of Joe's coaches likes to joke, "You gotta wear that one!" (Hit by pitch gets you to first base safely)  We like to poke fun at my husband's very complicated advice to his batters:  "See the ball, hit the ball."  Mmmmhmmm.  That's it.  He claims it's a simple game.

Kyle had a coach this summer who had not coached him in the past.  How I loved to hear this coach's shout of encouragement to his players.  He had a unique phrase that I had not heard before and it made me smile and think.  And now I'm writing about my thinking...what a shock, huh?  Again, God meets me where I am (and we all know where I am in the summertime) and uses the game of baseball and a field of children and coaches to teach me of Him.

If my son got a hit and ended up safe on the base, I'd hear this coach shout, "Hey, I see you out there on 1st, Thunder!"  If he was pitching and struggling - walking a batter or two - I'd hear, "Hey, now, you're ok.  I see you out there battling, #2!"  He shouted this same encouragement to every child.  Maybe the player was consistently making good plays and his success had become almost routine.  Coach shouted out that he saw that boy.  Maybe the kid really blew it and made a big error.  Coach still shouted out that he saw that kid trying...he saw him get up, dust off and try again.  He let those boys know that, individually, he saw the effort, the hustle, the fight.  He saw them.

"I see you out there!"  Isn't that the greatest?  Isn't that what we all want?  For someone to see us out here?  To notice us?  If not to praise us, if not to thank us, if not to honor us, just to see us?  Child, adult, mother, wife, husband, father, player on the field, player on the bench?  In our lives, we wish for all of our coaches, spouses, parents, bosses and families to see us and to appreciate our work.  But we know that all of these folks are imperfect and they don't always see us.  We often feel invisible and unappreciated and forgotten.  But we are not.  God sees us.  He sees us whether we are on top of our game or trying to earn our way off the bench.

When you struggle, when you can't seem to find the strike zone, when you are disappointed or lost or confused:  God sees you out there.  When you've been consistent, when you've worked hard and earned the raise, when you've made the play:  God sees you out there.  When the laundry was folded perfectly again, the budget balanced and that dinner was nutritious and hot and everything was on the table at the same time(!):  God sees you out there. And when the laundry is piled in a stinking mess on the floor and you took the kids through that drive-thru again and you couldn't quite make ends meet:  God sees you out there.

Give thanks in all circumstances. Whether you got the hit and arrived safe at home or you struck out. Keep swinging.  He is there and He never looks away.  Hey, kid, do not let your heart be troubled.  He sees you out there.

For He looks to the ends of the Earth and sees everything under the heavens.
-Job 28:24

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