The long awaited day arrived! The journey through Division and Section baseball competitions, to winning the All-Star State Championship title has led to this day for my 10 year old grandson, Tommy, and his Little League team… the Mid-Atlantic Championship game. Of the five states competing during the week, they were 3 & 1, three wins and one loss. Now, they would play the undefeated team for the title.
If you read my last post, “God Loves Baseball, Too!” you saw how Tommy has been aware of God’s blessings and the gift of his athletic talent. He always blesses himself and thanks God for his talent before each swing at bat. He, likewise, blesses himself after each play and thanks God again, regardless of the outcome of the play.
We had many talks about God’s love and blessings, how important it is to be aware of and grateful for all God’s gifts, and how God abundantly blesses a grateful heart.
Having baseball to teach this lesson of awareness and gratitude was a blessing in itself… the highs, the lows, the successes and the disappointments of the game are much like life. Learn to acknowledge God in baseball, then, take it further into other sports, into school and into life, itself.
It was a day to be remembered…both teams on the field, introductions made and, then, with baseball caps in hand, the national anthem played, followed by, “Play ball!”
The opposing team came on strong to score seven runs in the first three innings. We thought we had a run in the 4th. inning; but, the boy running home from first base missed third base… ran right over it! It happens, he’s ten and was excited. My guess is that will never happen to him again. And, isn’t it about learning, too?
It was the top of the sixth and the score 7-0. Our last chance at bat. Tommy was first up and took his place near home plate. As always, he blessed himself with the sign of the cross before each swing. There were strikes and balls leading to a full count…3 balls, 2 strikes. If only he could get on base.
Then, as if God said, “My Child, for faithfully acknowledging My gift and always thanking Me for your talent, this is for you.” A loud crack of the bat…the ball flying straight between second and third bases, then over the fence and midway onto the lawn. A home run! A beautiful hit! The crowd roared! Tommy made his way around the bases to home plate! Team members came out of the dugout to congratulate him! And yes, Tommy thanked God!
The team rallied; you could feel the energy! Three more runs came in for the final score 7-4. They didn’t win the Mid-Atlantic title but were second best… second out of the five mid-atlantic state teams. Quite an accomplishment for these young boys!
It was a wonderful week and a blessing to have this time with my family. There were so many wonderful moments and so many memories. Yet, what I will always remember is that home run…a blessing from a loving God for a child who faithfully acknowledges Him.
May God bless you and all those you love.
Dear God, Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to be with my family. May we always remember that our talents are gifts from You. May we always be grateful for them and use them to the best of our ability. And, God, thank you for that home run for my grandson! Amen.