Last weekend, my older grandson, Knox, taught his Granddad Bub (meaning me), some huge Jesus lessons. He plays baseball for the Nationals which is a AAA Traveling Team just shy of moving up to the “Major Leagues.” He was having one of his worse tournaments ever “hitting”. After one “strike out” he was visibly frustrated and disappointed with himself. He is not one to show emotions, unlike his granddad. Not only was he disappointed, his family, especially his Mom (my daughter…who did she get that ultra-competitive attitude from?!…ugh!!), was visibly and verbally not pleased with his lack of production at the plate. I have to admit that his dad while a bit frustrated maintained his composure with his normal character-building philosophy. After one important strike out with men on base and just after he assumed his position in centerfield, Knox knelt on the field in prayer. His dad and others noticed him doing that.
His team was playing in the Championship Game. Knox rocked on along with difficulties hitting the ball. This was a “crackerjack, Jim Dandy” game. With the game tied in the 6th inning, they continued to play back and forth into extra innings. Each extra inning is like a one inning playoff. If one team is ahead after the inning, they are declared champion. They were now playing the third extra inning. The crowd was in a frenzy, yelling for their team to win. As the “visitor”, we batted first and went up 2 runs. We thought surely the other team was exhausted. Not so, with two outs they loaded the bases. A base hit would knock in two runs and tie it up. If a hard-hit ball got between the outfielders, 3 runs would most likely score guaranteeing a win for the opponents. We changed pitchers and Knox moved to 2nd base without me realizing it. The very next hitter blasted a line shot surely over the 2nd baseman’s head and would probably go to the fence. It was a screamer. Suddenly, a kid jumped up with ball smacking the top part of the web of his stretched-out glove, and he caught it! I was shouting (totally out of control). Then, someone told me that it was Knox who had who made the play. I couldn’t have been prouder of a kid! What was so edifying to Knox was his teammates mobbed him screaming, “Knox, you won the championship for us.” The bigger players were hoisting him up and tossing him in the air. Wow! What a tournament.
Once we all became sane again, after being quizzed, Knox told us what he had prayed. Since he had been terrible at the plate, he asked God to help him make a good play on defense to help his team. Boy, I with the rest of the family were beaming!
Reminiscing this experience, God gave me a not too subtle kick in the pants. Often, I give up when I am not doing well withdrawing when God wants me to stay engaged. God used Knox and His Word to emphasize persistence. Galatians 6:9 challenges us, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” God gave two more pops on the seat of my pants reminding me, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Then, maybe the biggest lesson of all, when the chips are down, humbly petition God like Knox. He was not helping his team but knew that God cared. Look at what Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Knox, you taught Granddad Bub some valuable lessons…thank you Big Guy!