Sunday, October 31, 2010

Balance

It's my natural inclination to take life issues and find a baseball connection. My wife, Ashley, makes beautiful analogies that are complex and very helpful (when I understand them) in communicating her points. I, however, make ridiculous references to pitching all the time. This one might actually have some value though...

When pitching, there are certain points that you have to hit in your delivery to throw the ball where you want. There is a small step back, then balance. Bring your knee up towards your chest, then balance on one leg. Foot down towards the plate, hands break, balanced power position. Hips turn, arm swings through, weight shifted onto front leg, balance on one leg again. Release ball, back leg swings through, finish with body balanced and facing the plate. Repeat a
s necessary.

Balanced is what we have to achieve in our delivery and balanced is what we are trying to keep the hitter from being at the plate. Pitching might as well be one big tight rope act. We try to balance our way through 9 innings flailing our arms wildly in the attempt to simply make it through unscathed. Oddly enough, my life seems to share some of those same qualities.

As I've grown up there have been more and more things which I have to keep balanced in my life. When I was 8 there was baseball, basketball, playing with friends, and school. When I got into high school there was baseball, girls, friends, and school. Now that I am married there is a whole new set of objects that I have to balance in my life...and at times it can be a real struggle. One of the big things that I was unprepared for going into marriage was the new decision making process. Before, I was making decisions based on my own well being, but still taking into account my girlfriend's feelings. Now that my girlfriend is my wife, I have to make every decision for 2. There is no "well I hope she can just deal with it." Every time I choose to do or not do something there are real consequences for another person. Balancing these consequences is no easy task, no matter how much you love and care about your spouse.

As throughout my whole life, one of the things on my balancing scales is Baseball. The same question still rings true "how much am I supposed to care about this game?" For any of you out there who have been doing something you love for years and years, taking inventory of how much it means to you can be hard. To look yourself in the face and ask "why do I love this and how much is ok?" can be really difficult. It takes balance. I had to ask myself that question when I was getting ready to propose to Ashley. Did I love baseball enough to drag her through the ups, downs, and arounds that minor league baseball has to offer? Did I love Ashley so much that it wasn't worth it? These are examples of balance that creep into every aspect of life.

My comfort in the situation is wherein my balance lies. I love God and He loves me. He created a world around me that, minus our development, is the most balanced thing in the universe. He created scientific processes that are as symmetrical and balanced as life gets. He created our bodies to live in this perfectly suited environment, on this perfectly positioned planet, but why? I believe that He wanted us to see balance all around us as an encouragement that it is possible. In my life, i've seen it first hand. If my priorities push my relationship with the LORD to the background then I become imbalanced, running around frantically trying to even the scales but never quite getting it right. When I seek the LORD first, though, things begin to move by themselves into the right positions.

Tight rope walking becomes much easier and you'll be surprised at how often the ball goes where you want it to go.

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