Behind the Dugout: Do your best in everything

TJ finished his first baseball season yesterday.  His team went 8-4.  TJ batted .380 (not too shabby for a rookie).  Once the weather cools back down this fall, we’ll practice again.  After the game, Coach reminded the players of the main lesson he had hoped to communicate:  Do your best in everything.  I suppose that isn’t a bad moral to impart to the boys.  We should all do our best.  However, I would add the motivation for doing so.  We should do our best so that God is glorified.  The Apostle Paul exhorted the Corinthian Christians to do no less when he writes, “Whether, then, you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).  In other words, we should so act and react that God be praised.  Sadly, God was not always glorified at the baseball complex.  I think, in particular, of some of the parents of TJ’s teammates who failed to understand that eight-year-old baseball is…well…eight-year-old baseball.  On several ocassions, the father of our first baseman unecessarily caused his son to cry.  But that was tame compared to how hard the parents of our third baseman rode their son.  I distinctly remember one practice when a ball took an unexpected bounce and hit their son in the leg.  As soon as the boy hit the dirt, the parents were yelling at him to get up.  Although he lay crying next to the bag in pain, the thought never crossed their mind to comfort him.  One thing I learned in my first year of youth baseball was “It’s just a game” is much better understood by the kids than it is by the parents.  I am grateful that Coach Greg didn’t take it all too seriously.  We enjoyed TJ learning and trying his best.  During every at bat, and in every attempt in the outfield, TJ gave it his all.  So, while some of the parents lost focus, my eight-year-old rarely did.  We’re proud of him.  We’re thankful for the positive influence of Coach Greg.  And–honestly–we’re thankful the season is over!

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