With the weather being the coldest it has been all year and with the official close of football season coming this Sunday, my mind has already started gearing up for baseball season. My passion was intensified with the announcement that the 2015 All Star Game will be coming to nearby Cincinnati.
Growing up, sports were always part of my life; I played baseball, football, basketball, and soccer as a child. Played four sports in High School (Basketball freshman year, wrestling the other three years, and football and baseball all four years). I also went to college and competed in three sports my freshman year before finally sticking with wrestling my final three years. I also worked as the intramural director while at school, so not only did I get to direct all sorts of sports, but of course I would have to compete in every event as well. After college, my involvement with sports did not end. I coached high school wrestling and baseball while in Louisville, and baseball now that I have moved to Fleming County; I have even helped some with Montgomery County’s Wrestling team this year.
I say all this to point out that of all the sports that I have played, two have stuck out to me: Baseball and Wrestling. That is because, not only do I see the physical value of the sport, but they also have helped me spiritually in developing me into the Godly man that I am today. Not that I am perfect, but I am more like Christ because of the discipline that comes through sports.
Today, I will address why I love the game of Baseball and maybe someday I will try to communicate the same for the sport of wrestling.
I see baseball as an illustration of the Gospel. I see the perfect manicured fields and the simple game that a child can play at the age of five in his backyard with sticks and rocks as what God planned this world to be back in the Garden of Eden.
However, baseball also reminds us of our failures. It is a game of errors, strikeouts, and mistakes. You are considered one of the greats if you are successful 3 out of 10 at bats in your career. Therefore, anybody that has ever played the game knows that we all make mistakes, we all fail. Baseball is a game of failure, and it is because we all fail is why we need a Savior. And, that Savior is Jesus Christ and if we repent and believe then we can have a right standing with God once again.
Once we repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord, Savior, and Treasure, the God of this universe will through His Spirit start making us look more and more like His Son Jesus Christ. Therefore, we will start to grow in our faith. Jesus told us that if you love me then you will keep my commandments. I see baseball being an image of that as well. God did not give us commandments to be burdensome to us, but to help us get the most joy out of life. Just like in baseball, if there was no rules it would be total chaos with people running around with bats and throwing balls. However, we have rules to get the most joy out of the game of baseball, just like we have commandments to get the most joy out of life.
Therefore, I love baseball because it points me to the Gospel. Not only that, but it is also a tool for discipleship. Dr. Stinson has produced a four part article on how baseball can be used to help develop Biblical Masculinity and Godly Character. Therefore, not only does baseball point me to the Gospel, but it is also a training tool to make me more like Christ.
Even if you are not a baseball fan, and even if your children do not play the game, there would still be good wisdom and take-away value in these articles for you as a parent or as a man. There are opportunities all around us for us to see the Gospel and to teach our children how to understand reality and make decisions in light of the gospel. I hope you find Stinson’s words to be as helpful as I have.
This article is also contained in the book A Guide to Biblical Manhood which I highly recommend.