Well folks, it’s that time of year again. Time to oil up the mitt, dig out the bat and ball and get ready for — you guessed it — baseball. Halfway through spring training and two weeks to opening day. Hard to believe it’s here again.
Thinking of that image of the ball rattling around in the far corner of a large cavernous stadium with an outfielder racing to retrieve it and his teammates getting themselves into position to take and back up his throw reminds me of what I think is the most unique definition of the sport I never even thought of until I heard it: one man trying to create chaos with a bat, while nine men in the field set about to restore order.
Doesn’t something about this seem a little like life? Except that in life you may not have a full team of people helping you restore order, but we do have, from time to time, friends, doctors, psychiatrists, counselors, pastors and others who help us get some control when chaos strikes.
But like the game, there are boundaries, foul lines, fences that you don’t see; still they are there, because God put them there. This is the important part to remember when everything seems chaotic. The will of God defines the playing field for our lives. It might seem like things are out of control sometimes, but God keeps the ball in play. He is in control. The universe is not chaotic. God is working out His perfect plan. Even Satan has to ask permission to act, and God won’t let him go beyond the limits He has set.
The Old Testament presents us with a God who commands the sun, moon and stars, who makes the sun rise and set, who moves the clouds around and causes the rain to fall, and who holds the sea back. The New Testament presents us with the Son of God in whom all things “hold together” (Colossians 1:17). Nothing’s flying apart in this picture, and this is the God who is in control of our lives.
So the next time it seems like everything is coming apart, realize it’s just the ball rattling around in the right field corner of your life. Nothing can get outside of God’s field of play, and help is on the way. You’ve got a whole team on your side; order will be restored.