I had a chance to go to a baseball game recently here in Toronto. It was a fun experience, although my home team did get destroyed. Baseball isn’t always my favourite sport due to its untimed nature that relies purely on the pace that the play demands — and sometimes that play demands a snail-like pace! Fortunately, it was also a productive experience as I couldn’t help but see an analogy to be touched on.
In baseball, each player has a batting average which is defined by the number of balls they hit and divided by how many times they are at bat. If they have a batting average of .300, you’d say they are “batting three-hundred” and if they're absolutely perfect you would say they are “batting a thousand” (1.000).
Watching this baseball game, I saw both sides constantly heading up to bat, however very few hits were noticeably productive. Players on both the winning and losing side, more than not struck out or hit a ball poorly and got out. Yet, these consistent trips to the plate, combined with even the lower end of the batting average spectrum, produced wins.
One of my biggest struggles in life is how much I expect of myself and then having little grace with myself when I don’t reach those expectations. I never expect myself to be more than I am, but I do expect myself to be all that I can be. When I know I could have done better at something or used my time more efficiently or accomplished more than I did, but don’t, I find myself eaten alive inside. In the past, during some phases where I just couldn’t seem to get things going well, I have found myself in depression for months with what seemed to be an inability to even do a single thing! The complete opposite of what I was trying to do.
I don’t want to waste a second of this very short life and I find the greatest of joy and satisfaction when I am in the groove of being everything God has made me capable of being in that particular moment. I want to know that, at 22, I’ve done everything that I can do to be all that I’m called to be and capable of being. I don’t ever want to look back, like I do at some of my younger years, grieving the fact that I let opportunity slip through my fingers and let my potential swirl down the drain.
I’ve learned recently, though, that in this baseball game called life one is never going to bat a thousand. We are going to strike out, hit the ball poorly, and sometimes only make it to the first base. Life is messy and with so many moving parts, we are bound to miss the ball. Your timing may not be what you desire. You may want 5 runs by the 3rd-inning, but those 5 runs may not come until the 6th-inning. There is no clock to follow, just the pace that the play of the game demands.
Batting three-hundred wins awards. It wins games. It can even win championships. It’s not always about how well you hit. It’s about walking up to the plate every single day with a bat full of grace, ready to swing with all you’ve got. Don’t be afraid to step up to the plate. These consistent trips to the plate, combined with even the lower end of the batting average spectrum, produce wins.