Caesar, our Brazilian foreign exchange student, slumped and slowed. In his last at bat of the season, he slapped a low line drive to the shortstop who caught the ball and held it up to show the umpire.
I said, “Caesar, run it out.”
He dragged his body forward and touched the bag.
The umpire signaled safe.
Safe? Caesar’s safe?
On that one play, I applied a season’s worth of lessons.
1) Know your job.
During the baseball season, I made plenty of mistakes because I didn’t understand my job as a first base coach. In fact, after one especially egregious moment, I got teased by the coaching staff. The varsity coach said, “You can forget about coaching first base for us.”
The egregious moment came when our batter hit the ball right at the first baseman, an obvious easy out at first. But the first basemen chose to throw the ball home in order to gun down our player trying to score.
I watched the close play at home.
My job though wasn’t to watch the close play at home. My job was to watch the base runner heading to first.
Our player scored at home but the runner stopped before first base. He was thrown out but would have been safe if I’d recognized what my job was—watching base runners going to first, not close plays at home.
2) Own your mistakes.
I’ve already shared this story but I repeat its lesson here.
I distracted my own player with ill-timed good advice. “Keep your eye on the pitcher.”
He turned his head and asked, “What?”
In that moment, the pitcher threw over to first and got him out.
My job was to help the base runner, not hinder him.
As the player returned to the dugout, I patted my chest and said, “That’s on me. I made the mistake.” I repeated that line louder to those in the dugout. “My fault!”
When I made mistakes, I learned to own them. During the season, I had plenty of opportunities to practice this particular bit of advice.
3) Do your job.
When Caesar hit a rocket to the shortstop, I applied what I’d learned. My single job in that situation was to get the player to first.
I didn’t decide if the shortstop caught a fly ball. That was the umpire’s job.
My job was to say, “Run, Caesar, run.”
I did my job.
And so did he.
The result was, for the first time all season, our Brazilian exchange student had a hit.
The Apostle Paul writes, “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16 NIV).
I’m curious. What is your job/role in the faith community? What lessons have you learned in relation to your role?
I recommend this excellent but sobering piece called The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
3 Related Posts You Might Enjoy:
Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes
Two men. Two eternal destinies. One common hope.
My novel can be found at:
If you enjoyed today’s post, consider subscribing. Each new post will come directly to your email inbox.