Tuesday, April 27, 2010

throwing strikes

I'm not a huge baseball fan, in general,  but there is one team that I have followed and supported for a lifetime.  When that team plays on TV I like to watch and pull for them.  The TV cameral typically shoots a picture from behind the pitcher and you follow the windup and delivery of every pitch.  Of course the camera will also follow the ball when it leaves the bat, to track the action as hits and runs are made.  But there are far more pitches than there are hits.  The starting pitcher may throw 100 pitches over 6 or 8 innings and the other team may only make a handful of hits.  I have found, as I watch the drama of pitcher and hitter, that I love the sensation when my pitcher throws a strike (that isn't hit!).  Off course, strike-outs are especially satisfying.  When your starting pitcher is really "on" he seems to get ahead of the batter with a strike or two, right away, and put the pressure on to force a bad swing.  The pitchers have an array of pitches and I don't really understand the differences (sliders, curves, etc.) and so there are many ways to throw a strike...and I know that often the pitcher intentionally does not throw a strike, hoping to lure the batter to swing at a bad location.  But there is something about throwing a strike and watching the umpire call the pitch that just seems right and true.  It occurred to me that there is a similar sensation when we come across a solid truth in the Bible that comes over our plate.  It's almost as if we're the batter and the Lord is the pitcher.   I don't want to suggest that the Lord throws anything besides strikes but He seems to know each of our particular strike zones.  There is a great satisfaction when truth comes home.  We need to connect with pitches that come into our zone.  If we step into the batter's box and face the great Pitcher we can be confident that He will give us plenty of strikes.  We'll swing and miss at these but we'll also make contact as we practice...because ultimately the favorite pitch of both the pitcher and the batter is the strike.
John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Rob Smith

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