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  • Stacy Sanchez

How to Hit a Curveball


“But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7 ESV).


Hot and exhausted, fourteen sweaty (and may I say stinky?) baseball players and I sat in the outfield grass, eating orange slices and guzzling fruit juice drinks while regurgitating the details of our game.


“Wow! That was ugly.” The team’s shortstop blurted.


“Yeah, Coach, we sucked!” The words spat from my catcher’s mouth, along with the orange seed he launched across the field.


“It, for sure, wasn’t pretty. But cut yourselves some slack. You guys just played your hearts out against a team way more experienced than ours. I’m seriously proud of you, though. You just went up against a pitcher who knows how to throw a nasty curveball. Until today, you’ve never seen one. You swung at those pitches like you were swatting at flies but didn’t give up.”


“How the heck are you supposed to hit a curveball anyway?” my youngest player mumbled, trying to mask his quivering lip.


“How do you hit a curveball? Well, it takes a lot of practice. You wait on it,” I explained.


“You can’t react to the pitch and swing as soon as you think you should because the ball will break on you, and you’ll miss it. You need to wait just an extra bit. Don’t worry. I’ll teach you. It’s only the beginning of the season. You’ll get it, but it takes patience. You’ll have to learn to wait.


The curveball is a difficult pitch to hit. When thrown correctly, the spinning of the ball's seams tricks a hitter’s brain into thinking the ball is diving at a steeper angle than it is. The art of hitting a round ball with a rounded bat is already one of the hardest things for a young player. But add a spinning breaking ball into the mix? Forget about it.


“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV).


I don’t know about you, but waiting isn’t easy for me. I want to do something when I want to do it.

Now!


When an unexpected problem comes hurling at me at eighty miles an hour, I want to fix it immediately.


Waiting is not at the top of my to-do list. I’ve had to be trained to wait. It took a lot of practice. My first thoughts on how to deal with a challenging situation are usually wrong because I haven’t stopped to pray and ask God what he wants me to do.


The night Jesus was arrested, he told his disciples to “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41, NIV).


With his arrest and crucifixion at hand, Jesus knew his Disciples were about to be thrown the world’s nastiest curveball. The Disciples were going to go through the worst experience of their lives and needed to watch Jesus so he could train them how to handle it. They needed to learn to wait, not react immediately, and wait on the Lord for direction.


God doesn’t want us to panic and react right away. God tells us in the Bible not to worry because he is in control of the world. But sometimes it’s hard not to worry, isn’t it?


God teaches us in the Bible a better way to handle our problems—wait for him to show us the answer. Don’t react immediately, but pray, listen, talk to your parents about your situation, and read what others in the Bible did when they had a problem.


Like my young baseball team learning to hit a curveball, we must practice waiting until it becomes second nature. So, when a curveball (a problem) is thrown at us, we will know how to knock the snot out of it for a home run. (That’s baseball-ese. I’m pretty sure that’s in the Bible somewhere.)


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2 Comments


dfkeeler
Apr 10

Brilliant, Stacy!

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hudsonlois
Apr 09

Wonderful!


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