Play Ball

#inspiration, guest blog, Kim Louise ClarkeToday we have a guest blog written by Kim Louise Clarke

Because my husband umpires, I have the opportunity to watch a lot of softball, which in turn provides a rich source of life lessons. Like the one the other day, when I watched the girl in left field miss a very catchable fly ball. She stumbled to retrieve the ball at her feet and threw it towards first base. But the throw was weak and much too late.

I felt sorry for her as I sat on the bleachers, eating my hotdog, content that I still had a chocolate bar to munch on, wondering how she could have missed the catch in the first place. Sitting and watching all the activity before me, I was risking very little other than gaining a pound or two.

But each of these players, attempting to bat, run, throw, and catch, were risking a lot. Besides injury, they risked making a bad play and setting their team back. They risked failure, self-doubt, and enduring criticism from the spectators.

This is similar to life beyond the ball diamond, where we can choose to remain a bystander watching other’s living their lives. Or we can choose to step out into the life given us, taking risks, knowing that we may meet up with failure, self-doubt, and criticism.

“When was the last time you did something for the first time?” is a quote from John C. Maxwell (American business and investment speaker). It is a great question. When was the last time I tried something new, risked something, or got out of my comfort zone? Am I someone who is ‘playing the game’, or just someone who is ‘playing it safe’?

Kim Louise Clarke hopes her writing will inspire, inform, and entertain. She writes travel devotional memoirs, having published one book, with another to be published soon. Website: www.kimlouiseclarke.com

Toronto Blue Jay Philosophy

inspire, Jesus, opportunity, do something betterI was one of millions who watched the Toronto Blue Jays come from behind to win their division series last week. It was a game that will be talked about for years to come.

You don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate their accomplishment. Despite a play that delayed the game, was ruled against them and put the other team in the lead, the Blue Jays didn’t give up. During the second half of an historic seventh inning they fought back, took the lead and ended up winning the game and the series.

One player, when asked about the play that had the potential to defeat them, said that it created an opportunity for them to do something better. That was a statement that inspired me.

The potential these words hold is staggering. Instead of being discouraged and giving up when life throws me a curve ball, I could look at the situation as an opportunity to do something better.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.” He also said to take heart because he has overcome the world. The troubles I face will not defeat me if I face them together with him. With his guidance they will provide me the opportunity to do something so much better than I could accomplish on my own.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)