It’s that time of year again


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.

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13 Responses to It’s that time of year again

  1. Sandie says:

    I needed to hear this message today…really every day. Though I never played, I am very familiar with the game – our youngest son played officially from the age of 5 through high-school graduation. To wear the uniform you have to practice til you can’t stand it – you have to trust your coach(es) and pay attention to them. You have to ‘game-up’ before you walk on the field and then you have to put what you learned in practice to use in the real game. Thank God we have a Coach who will never put us into a game we cannot win, because he has given us the best equipment we need and the best advice to carefully hone the skills He has given us!

  2. Mark Seguin says:

    Thx Pastor John 4 today’s Catch and even though there’s been a few times I questioned God why oh why do are u allowing some things and it seems to be too much out of control – My lives verse is Job 23:10 But He knows the way that I take and when He as tried me, I shall come forth as Gold.

    I’ve heard fire refining process gold and the gold-smith knows when to remove the gold from the flame, becauz he can see his face in it’s reflection…

    I know my time in a coma and 2 stokes, have not even come close of the refining fire Job went through, yet I can understand a tiny bit of going through the refining process…

    And great analogy to Pastor John: (as u wrote) “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.” Which get’s an Amen from me! 🙂

  3. David Morgereth says:

    (From the movie, Bull Durham) “This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.”

    “In many ways Christianity is a very simple faith that we have made incredibly legalistic and difficult. To paraphrase the line above. “You love the Lord your God. You love your neighbor. Sometimes it is easy. sometimes it is hard. Sometimes life rains on you.” “

  4. Andrew P. says:

    Thank you, John. I needed the reminder today.

  5. GITTA says:

    wow– great CATCH today– & the comments, also!!
    Years ago my older son wanted to be a professional baseball player
    and had the scouts looking at him– but a permanent injury destroyed that dream.
    But I know I can trust it was part of God’s plan– for good.

    My younger son [45] had emergency surgery today for a blockage due to a kidney stone.
    Surgery successful but–
    he had an reaction to the medication in the recovery room afterwards.

    The best part of my day– is beginning & ending my day in the Word & prayer–
    knowing God is in control of all !! It is a fierce unseen spiritual battle–
    daily battle & we are often ‘blind-sided’ by the trials–
    I am thankful that satan does have limited power — God is ever in control.
    He gives us tender mercies and even miracles !

    And I give the last paragraph an ‘amen’ along with Mark !!

    • Mark Seguin says:

      GITTA I’ll be happy to join u in prayers your younger son’s recovery…

      God’s speed & many blessings to you and all of yours…

      PS And Pastor John I still am not receiving emails about when others comment on the Catch blog here, plz, pretty plz looking into this for me…Once again I can see the other comments because I just so happen to re-log into this Catcch.

      • GITTA says:

        thank you MARK !!
        as John mentioned in this post “we have a whole team on our side”
        prayers lifted up by the CATCH team/family are precious.
        And I love to think on the fact that we all have varied prayer times–
        and are covering others & being covered throughout the day– and night.
        from my readings today: “HIMSELF took our infirmities, & bore our sicknesses.”
        [Matthew 8 quoting Isaiah]– amazing to me !!
        *my life verse is psalm 23:3 God gave it to me as a child when I was just learning a second language: English– and He was good for His word & fulfilled it in my life
        many years later….
        joint heirs, GITTA

    • jwfisch says:

      Praying for your son.

  6. Dan Tonder says:

    I live in MN but am in Florida on vacation, Just leaving for a day at Twins spring training. My wife goes along and pretends to enjoy and understand. I think she might enjoy it, as long as it is only one day, but I doubt if she understands. I am never offended by your baseball analogies. Thank you for all of your thoughts and insight. I can say my wife does enjoy and does understand the Catch and Grace turned outward. She is starting to read the Catch on much more regular basis. Keep up the good work. Thanks again.

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