Lessons from a Slip-Up

Last night was Church League Softball night. I’ve been playing for 7-8 years and it’s always a lot of fun. Last night saw a mild drizzle make conditions a little wet but it wasn’t too bad.  My third at-bat, I hit a shot to deep right-center field. As I was approaching 1st base while watching the ball and the outfielder, I could tell it was going over his head and I turned to hit first base and sprint for second. When my foot hit the bag, it slipped and I immediately lost my balance and slid on the infield dirt. Knowing I’d scraped up my leg pretty good, I immediately bounced up and started to go, when the guys around me told me it had left the yard.

I have hit home runs before, but not many, so I was a little suprised. But my excitement and pride were tempered by my total wipeout on the basepaths. It was a weird mix of feelings – pride and embarrassment.

It reminded me of several spiritual principles:

  • Often, we need to be the most careful during those times we are experiencing success, otherwise we’ll likely trip ourselves up.
  • Pride is such a dangerous thing because it deceives us into believing we are great and deserving of great things.
  • Successful times of blessing are the perfect times to give our selves a reality check.
  • Competitiveness (in ministry or sports) can sap the joy out of what is designed to be recreation and relaxation.
  • The world doesn’t revolve around us. I asked a couple of my teammates if they saw my embarrassing wipeout and they had not. So my even my sense of embarrassment was probably overblown if only a few saw me bite it.

I could be reading way to much into that one minute episode from Tuesday night, but as a current teacher and future pastor, I tend to try to learn lessons from everyday events and use them for illustrations. Maybe that’s another lesson – do you look for spiritual principles behind the events of your week?

 

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