A Laughing Hit
"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones." - Proverbs 17:22
The score was tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 7th in a battle for the local Senior League Baseball championship. The batter, an erratic player with a huge heart, had just fanned two pitches and stood at home plate with an 0-2 count. I was standing in the coach’s box when I heard the batter calling me to come talk to him. Not wanting to use our lone timeout, I shouted some encouragement and returned my focus to the runner on first base. The batter was persistent, though. He remained out of the batter’s box and kept motioning for me. Eventually the umpire instructed the batter to return to the box or play would resume where he stood. Not wanting to lose the at bat, I called time and met with my player.
His first words to me were, "coach, tell me a joke!" I was stunned. Not really knowing what else to do, I told a joke. He trotted back to home plate, and I meandered back to first base. The pitcher threw an inside fastball that the batter turned on for a two-run, walk-off homer.
While watching this young man round the bases to join his celebrating teammates, I realized something. In sports and in life, we become so over focused that we forget to have fun. That is not to say that focus isn’t necessary for success. But we need to remember that God did create laughter and joy for a purpose. Like Proverbs 17:22 reminds us, His joy is as beneficial as medicine. And without it, we become sick with worry, doubt and fear. We need to live our spiritual and athletic lives with that in mind. As His children, we are to take joy in the blessings He has brought us, small or large and enjoy using the athletic talent we have been given for His glory.
- Do you find that your focus causes you to miss out on the laughter God has created for your life?
- How can you allow God’s joy to permeate every area of your life, including sports?
- In what ways can you help spread joy and godly laughter to those around you?
- Psalm 126:2
- Job 8:20-21