Baseball influences our everyday life

Published 7:30 am Sunday, August 7, 2022

Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success,” pitcher Bob Feller once said, “Or put its failures behind and start over again.” He went on to say that’s the way it is in baseball and that’s the way it is in life.

This popular sport of baseball, called the “national pastime,” influences on our everyday lives beyond the baseball season. For instance, we often talk, “baseball,” often creeps in whether or not we realize it.

If an action requires special courage, we challenge someone to “step up to the plate.” Then again, if he or she wants to attempt something we think will fail, we discourage them by saying, “You won’t get to first base.”

If a person is doing everything right, we tell them they’re “batting a thousand.” When someone’s tremendously successful, they have “knocked a homerun.” Should we consider someone else’s thinking more extreme than ours, we say the person with an opposing view is “out in left field.”

Several years ago, a law was passed to punish repeat offenders. “Three strikes and you’re out” sends a criminal to prison for life after their third conviction. I cannot “cover all the bases” without some interesting parallels from the Bible.

What does the Bible have to say about baseball? Take another look at Genesis 1:1. It could be said, “In the ‘big-inning’ God created the heaven and the earth.” Let me assure you I believe what it literally says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Though you won’t find the word “baseball” listed in any Bible concordance, consider these analogies. Baseball pays tribute to its heroes in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. The Bible recognizes people whose walk with God made them eligible for the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews chapter 12.

In baseball, a sacrifice occurs when a batter bunts or hits a ball and makes an out, allowing a base runner to advance. The Bible says Jesus “appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:26). Jesus gave His life for us, allowing us to be a part of His team.

There’s another analogy between baseball and the Bible. In the game of baseball, there’s a five-sided plate where you plant your feet and swing a bat before going to first base. It’s also the place where you must return after running to all the bases.

Home represents two Biblical principles. First, it’s a place we can come back to. Remember the prodigal son who demanded his father give him his inheritance? The boy went to a far country, wasted his money on wild living and ended up in a pig pen. When he returned home, his father was waiting with open arms to welcome his son and celebrated his homecoming.

Home can also represent heaven. There’s a grandstand there where loved ones who have gone on before us are cheering us on (Hebrews 12:1). Accept Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins. Your Heavenly Father is waiting with open arms for you to come home.

Jan White has compiled a collection of her columns in her book, “Everyday Faith for Daily Life.”