Monday, March 31, 2014

Just Swing the Bat!

   About 25 years ago we were first time parents entering the world of organized recreational sports in our community for our eldest daughter Noelle. My husband played baseball and I played softball so we naturally encouraged our daughter to play a sport we were enthusiastic about. Her first season after T-ball was with an all girl softball team in our small town. Like any team there were some players that out shined others in their athletic abilities, and some who lagged behind with lack luster. We parents collectively cheered and encouraged all the girls as they all overcame their fears and nerves at the plate or consistently hit the ball. Late into the season some of the girls on the team were still not getting the whole concept of swinging the bat to get on base and eventually score runs. One young girl named Melissa stood time after time in the batters' box with the bat on her shoulder frozen in time. Her parents were patiently encouraging her to try and just swing the bat! Exasperated one day from weeks of seeing her daughter just stand there, Melissa's mom took a crisp $5 bill from her wallet as her daughter strolled up to the plate...again. She walked up to the fence waving the money behind the umpire and yelled out to her daughter, "$5 for you if you just swing the bat!". Melissa was stunned by this bit of news from the stands. Again her mother repeated her desperate plea. With a shocked look on her face she asked her mom, " Really?!". "Yes, just swing the bat!", her mother replied. All of the parents were giggling and laughing and wondering how Melissa would respond. First pitch over the plate, she swung the bat and connected with the softball! She found herself on first base grinning from ear to ear as she met her mother's expectation. The stands full of parents were cheering wildly and laughing hysterically. I will never forget the next girl in the batting order coming up to bat and asking Melissa's mom if she could get $5 for swinging the bat too! Ahhhhh good times... I was recalling that memory to several friends this week as they wade through scary uncertain circumstances in their lives They find themselves frozen at the plate and not sure what to do. Maybe it's time to just "swing the bat", I tell them. What have you got to lose? Just try something new, break through the fears that have your feet in blocks of ice. Make one small step toward a goal and get yourself moving in a direction! God will redirect if He needs to. Maybe we just swing the bat.
   P.S. Melissa went on to be an all star player for our local high school/county in softball. All because one mom, with one $5 bill asked her to "swing the bat."

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