I recently wrote a variation of this for a baseball forum where I am in administrator. Even if you aren't a baseball fan, I think you will enjoy the story:
Like many children growing up with a love for baseball in the 1970’s, I ate and slept baseball with a side dish of football. (It was Pennsylvania and the Steelers ruled!)
I remember getting the baseball sticker books and trading the commons with friends, going to the baseball card shop and trying to find that favourite player or baseball legend.
I loved the position of pitcher and would study baseball pitching books endlessly. I was convinced I could throw a curve and a split finger fastball. What I really threw was junk. I found this out on the day of baseball tryouts. Reality and economics meant I could not try out for the Little League but we had the next best thing…Optimist Baseball. The name sounded hopeful and the best thing was that we were all GUARANTEED to play.
During positional tryouts the pitching coaches showed their immense wisdom by moving me to the outfield. Here I knew I could flourish. Who cared if I could not tell where the ball would land and didn’t have the arm strength to make it into the infield, it was at the plate I would show my stuff.
I always wanted a baseball nickname and the one I was given reflected my status at the plate: Golfer. I had the innate ability to imitate Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicholas. This would have been great if I played golf, not so much when trying to hit a baseball. I knew my MLB career would never happen when I dug my feet into the plate near the end of my 1st season. The pitcher tossed the ball in and I swung a mighty golf swing and, to my surprise and amazement, the bat connected with the ball, which then connected with my nose…which bled…profusely. As the coaches gathered around me to check on my health and well-being, and my young team-mates gathered around me to see some blood, I showed my inner strength and tenacity by proudly and painfully taking my base.
I came back for a second season and played through…improving slightly but knowing my career was over by the 6th grade.
I still had my dreams…and a chance at redemption when playing in my early 20’s for a team in Canada. It was sandlot baseball and by then I had improved greatly. I batted over .400 and led the team in hits. Then I broke my thumb.
I am 40 now…the scouts better get their act together…I am nearing the end of my baseball potential…but not my dreams! Now where did I put that glove?
Acts 2:17, "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams."
God can use anything. I believe my dreams of baseball have been used by God. Though I never got to play professionally, my love for the game has brought me into contact with numerous baseball fans on internet forums across N. America. It has allowed me the chance to share the Gospel, pray for individuals and chat with baseball fans about the deeper matters of faith.
I think I'd rather hit a Home Run for God anyway!