I am off to England in a few hours to be at the Christian Booksellers Convention in Telford. Then I have a five-day a speaking tour put together by David Graham with Everlasting Books. I always enjoy going to England, but, come to think of it, I enjoy going just about anywhere. I love to travel, but there was a time when I did little traveling at all. During those years, I learned valuable lessons, one of which I would like to share with you this week. What is that lesson? I'm glad you asked, but to find out, you will have to read on.
A PHILOSOPHY FOR WINNING AT SOFTBALL . . . AND AT LIFE!
For eleven years, I lived in Alabama, a state in the deep South. Since I was home then, I played in a church softball league for nine of those years. Softball is a game similar to American baseball, but the ball is bigger and the pitcher throws it more slowly using an underhand motion. I was a better fielder than batter, and my teams won a few more than they lost.
There was one team from another church, however, that was very good, and they beat us most of the time year after year. They didn’t look as sharp as we did because we got new uniforms almost every year and they played in whatever they had. We practiced weekly yet we never, ever saw them on the practice field. They just knew how to win.
One night we met with some of their players to see if we could understand the secret of their success. We asked many questions, but then our coach asked their best batsman, “When you’re at bat, do you have an offensive philosophy? Do you try to hit it over the fence or do you try to advance the runners one base at a time?” The man stared at our coach with a surprised look for a short minute and then answered, “We don’t have any philosophy. We just hit it hard and wish it well.”
That simple statement changed my life, and from that point forward became my philosophy not only for softball but also for life itself!
As I have sought to express my creativity, I have found this a great strategy to employ. This week perhaps you too just need to stop thinking about what you want to do and just go “hit it hard and wish it well.” In softball, sometimes you can do everything just right and not get to first base. Other times your technique can be all wrong, yet the ball off your bat lands in the right spot and you win the game for your team. Maybe you’re waiting for perfection before you try something, or perhaps you’re frustrated that you have done everything correctly, but things haven’t worked out so far. This week you need to overcome your hesitancy or discouragement and go to bat one more time.
"HIT IT HARD" IS IN THE BIBLE!
“Hit is hard and wish it well” is a principle found in the Bible. The writer of Ecclesiastes wrote thousands of years ago:
“If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie. Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well” (Ecclesiastes 11:3-6).
Do you have any creative ideas on which you need to act? The time to analyze is over; the time to act has come. This week step to the plate and take your turn. As you do, I am right there with you. I don't know if my radio show on the internet will be a success or how I will even pay for it all at this point. You know what? I'm going to hit it hard and wish it well! I don't know where I will get the money for the leadership center at the University of Zimbabwe, but I am laying the plans as if I have all the money in the world! I am at bat and I'm going to take my swings and see what happens.
You should do the same thing. Paint the picture, apply for the degree, start the business, or plan the vacation. Don’t fret about uncertain results over which you have no control. Do what you can do this week and trust that it will work out for the good. If you do, I know you will have a great week!
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