Knocking It Out of the Park
Jesus didn't play little league baseball, but his Father was certainly proud!

One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

Mark 1:9-11

When I was young, my father was my little league coach. He was tough, but fair and I learned a lot about baseball and life from him at the Farmland Lion’s Club diamond.

During one game, I stepped up to the plate for my turn at bat. I looked at my Coach/Dad along the third-base line and he was giving me a signal, as coaches do. For the life of me I could not decipher the signal. While I watched, my dad tapped his hips and forehead, pulled his ears, pinched his nose, rubbed his arms, and cleaned his glasses. I was bewildered. I was perplexed. I was baffled. I was going to strike out anyway, so I didn’t really know why he was giving me any signs at all!

However, rather than do something wrong and lose the game for the team, I called for a time out. I went over to ask what he was saying with this gesticulation. I don’t remember exactly what I he wanted me to do, but I do remember that I either struck out or got hit in the head by a fast ball. Those were the only two outcomes from any of my at-bats. But I did learn he was just cleaning his glasses with that last move.

What I DO remember is when the inning was over, in front of the entire team, my father explained what had happened. (As you read his comments, picture an inspirational Disney movie with a golden sunset behind left field, and a perfectly scored and moving soundtrack running in the background. That’s how I remember it.) He said, “Curt made the right choice out there. He didn’t know the sign and rather than just ignoring it or doing whatever he wanted, he called time and asked me what I wanted him to do. I’m proud of you for that decision. Excellent job.”

Did you catch that? My father was proud of me. He didn’t focus on my concussion or my strikeout. He focused on the fact that I made the right decision to call time and ask for clarification. Now, that’s good coaching. And good parenting.

Don’t we all like a little recognition from time to time? Don’t we like to be praised for what we do or who we are? I imagine Jesus felt the same way! His father gave him a heavenly pat on the back. A Divine Attaboy! “You bring me joy!” “I’m proud of you.” “In you I am well pleased!” That’s Jesus’ dad for you. God is Jesus’ biggest cheerleader, right from the start! It doesn’t get any better than that!

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