BASEBALL AND GOD’S GRACE

Growing up my brother Bruce and I watched a lot of baseball. The Atlanta Braves were the team we watched because they were the only ones on television. Guys like Dale Murphey, Bob Horner and Ray Hubbard were just a few of the guys we pulled for. Today it doesn’t matter who the teams are, the sounds of baseball get my blood pumping.

The game of baseball shows the human predicament of trying to measure up to a perfect standard. Baseball is a game of numbers against impossible standards. Everything a baseball players does is added up and written down on paper. For example, a player’s “batting average” (BA) tell us how a player is batting, and it’s carried out to 3 decimal points. No one says, “He bats well.” They say, “he’s batting .265″ or “he’s batting .301.” They are very precise numbers, and there’s no way to pretend to be successful or hide failure.

Funny thing about baseball is no one really does all that well. The very best hitters get about 3 hits every 10 tries (meaning he bats .300). That’s not very good for our present jobs, but if you can get 3 hits out of 10 in baseball, they’ll pay you a million dollars to play. Great baseball players like Mickey Mantle could hit towering home runs from both sides of the plate, but he also struck out 1710 times. You see, no one is very good when measured against the perfect standard of batting 1000. Certainly life is like that mixed with a lot of hits, strike outs and errors.

Much like baseball, the old law measures you against impossible standards. Under the old law you had to bat 1000. You had to be perfect. 3 out of 10 (.300) would still be .700 short.

Thankfully under the new law we’re taught that:

1 – Grace means God will more than fill the gaps in your batting average. It means when you are batting .200 God will hit .1000 or more to cover your gap. Grace means you don’t have to bat 1000, because only God bats 1000 and through Christ, God covers your short falls (
2 Corinthians 5:21).

2 – Grace means you always get a second chance. Just like a batter who makes an error and gets a 2nd chance the next inning, God is the God of the second chance. God even established His church for people who’ve made lots of errors (like me). Jesus spent most of his time with people who made lots of errors. People who had gone 0-4 in life. People who had dropped the ball of life. Losers in life like fishermen, prostitutes, tax collectors, poor, diseased, out cast and the lost. But Jesus came to seek and save the lost and he established his church for error prone people like me (Romans 8:1-2). Grace means that in Christ, the score keeper cancels all your errors.

Opening day of baseball is today and I’m ready to see them throw out the first pitch. There will be a lot of people strike out on opening day. By the end of the month no one will be batting a 1000. And in life … no one will be batting 1000 either. Thank GOD for grace.

Oh, and “Happy Opening Day” today!

——————————————

As you know, I love “Top 10 Lists.” Tomorrow being “Top 10 Tuesday,” I’ll give a part two to, “10 Ways to Get Your Preacher to Quit.” This time I’ll go from the other side, “Top 10 Ways to Keep A Preacher.” Also Gallagher had a great Top 10 list recently called “10 Reasons I’m beginning to NOT like church buildings.” And here is my friend Monica’s “Top 10 Signs you may be a Mom.” Stop by and check them out.

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
17 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Bobby Cohoon says:

    Amen and Good Post Trey!
    Now, let’s all pull for the REDS!

    Bobby

  2. lisa leichner says:

    Haven’t watched much major league baseball in past years, but I’ve always pulled for the Yankees (is that a surprise?). I’d rather go out & cheer for our minor league team (more fun to get the live action, but much cheaper & closer than the majors).

    Good post, Trey. :)

  3. TREY MORGAN says:

    Bobby, Happy “Opening Day” brother.

    Lisa … the Yankees? That’s like rooting for Microsoft. ha

  4. Stachia says:

    We have been watching college games at our house. If the game has a baseball in it, it doen’st matter who’s playing Cam will be watching. I grew up watching baseball with my Mom on TV she just loved watching Johnny Bench..

  5. Chris says:

    Good post, Trey…

    When I was young everyone in my neck of the woods cheered for the Braves. I didn’t like being like everyone else, so I started cheering for the Cubs. And, as you well know, being a Cubs fan isn’t easy because the team never does that well. But, it teaches me great lessons about hope, as there is ALWAYS next year. LOL

    Hope everyone had a good weekend.

  6. DJG says:

    I was talking to some Braves fan the other day who didn’t know who Dale Murphy was….What!

    Anyway, I love baseball and baseball analogies. Fortunately in baseball you don’t hear the strike out percentage…you hear the batting percentage. And I think God emphasizes what we do right….not all of our strike outs! Thank you God!

  7. Brian Nicklaus says:

    trey,
    i started watching the cubs on cable TV in 1989. they had an exciting, young team and won the division. I feel like I was deceieved. I didn’t know their history, but now I am stuck. don’t follow them as closely anymore. they spent lots of money again but their pitching will still stink.

    ryne sandberg is my hero!

  8. TREY MORGAN says:

    Cubbie fans have to be some of the most loyal and frustrated fans in the world. Always two weeks into the season the Cubbies are thinking, “Well there’s always next year.” BUT the Cubs are loaded this year. It may be there year.

    Donna & Chris … God is good, isn’t He. Doesn’t matter how many times you “strike out” you always get another “at bat.”

  9. Bob Bliss says:

    When I was quite young my Mom and I used to watch a lot. She liked the Dodgers and I liked the Yankees (mostly to annoy my Mom) because of Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, and Mickey Mantle. But my favorite team back then was the SF Giants. Willie McCovey on first, and Willie Mays (the “say hey” kid) in the outfield. Ah, those where the days!

    Haven’t watched much lately but I definitely would not watch the Yankees.

  10. Liz Moore says:

    I’ve enjoyed catching up on your posts today! I especially like the Barney picture! :)

    Thank goodness for God’s grace! We would have a chance without it! As for baseball, it has dropped to the very bottom of my sports list. The summer is the longest wait for me to get back to sports. We got hooked on Dallas Stars hockey several years ago and now I really can’t sit and watch baseball. It is sooooo slow :) Right now the Mavs are giving us some good sports watching too! Have a great one!

  11. Neva says:

    Trey,
    Not a big baseball fan but a HUGE fan of Grace and everything God does for us.
    Thanks for the reminders
    Peace
    Neva

  12. Ancient Wanderer says:

    Grace means God is actually holding the bat. :)

    AW

  13. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Great post Trey. Baseball needs grace but I need it more. You will probably think I need to be extended grace. I used to be a fan of LA. My Papa was Dogger fan from Brooklyn. I could watch them on t.v. in Phx and sometimes in exhibition games. Then Spring Training came to AZ and we saw more. I haven’t pay much attention in some time. It does not get me that excited. Live sports are so much better than on t.v. We enjoyed the Diamondback when we were there afew years back. Kathy and I took Josh some. It really was cheap compared to football and basketball. Now the hockey was more affordable too and very exciting. We went to a couple of games.

    I am impressed with your applications in posts. I don’t know how much time you spend on your posts. Kathy knows in advance, like I do with sermons, what she is going to post. I am more spur of the moment on this I guess.

    Again, good job,
    James

  14. TREY MORGAN says:

    Amen aw… good point. I’m glad you and Brian’s Blog-Fast hasn’t keep you too far away.

    James – I understand the “cheap” when it comes to baseball. If you can avoid the parking lots and the food, you can actually go pretty cheap.

  15. Stoned-Campbell Disciple says:

    Really like baseball. Really thankful for God’s grace. Excellent post.

    Perhaps I would nuance your bold header though … it seems to me that even under the “old ‘law'” God’s mercy was “new every morning.”

    Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine

  16. Tim Archer says:

    That’s what I get for traveling… ol’ Neyland stole my idea! I was going to say that grace means God pinch hits for us.

    Have a great day.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim

  17. TREY MORGAN says:

    You guys are so smart. I love thinking about God pinch hitting for me when I’m in a jam.

    Cool

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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