Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Step up to the Plate

There was a baseball player who was "dogging it."  He took his own sweet time, missed easy fly balls, and did not catch much.  He had the attention of Eeyore and ran like Winnie the Pooh. 

Finally, during the game, the coach yanked him off of the field and sent in player two.  Player one did not play again for two full weeks, during which time the coach had him doing all sorts of extra practicing.

Player two went out there and did all he could to catch the fly balls, not miss the grounders, and bring them home.

Player one had greater skill, but player two followed through.  The second player went after it harder.  With all he had. 

After two weeks of being benched, the 1st player was allowed to play again.  This time, after two weeks of being benched and of hard practicing, he did fantastic.  He caught the balls.  He brought them home.

Use Your Talents

God has given each of us talents.  Some folks have one talent.  Some have two or three.  And, according to Jesus, a few have a bunch.  Regardless of how many you have, if you don’t use what you have you could get benched.

No one has ever hit a home run from the dugout.  Home runs are hit by people willing to leave the dugout, walk up to the plate, and swing the bat.  Take the chance and walk to the plate.

In baseball, successful players get 3 hits out of 10.  If you make 4 out of 10 (40%), you are considered a hero.  That means that the most successful baseball players tend to miss 60% of what is thrown at them.

There are some people in life that walk up to the plate once or twice, but if they miss one or two balls, they consider themselves a failure and retreat to the dugout, too afraid to try again.  The dugout seems safer than the playing field.  The problem is, you can't score any runs from the dugout.  You can sit and criticize how other players are playing the game from the dugout.  But you can't score any runs.

I knew a lady who applied for one job. When the company gave the position to another person, it blew the woman out of the water. Feeling great rejection, she refused to apply anywhere else. 

Now let's put that in perspective. Dan Miller, motivational business coach and speaker, estimates that for every 30-35 jobs for which you apply, you should expect to receive one or two callbacks. Not job offers but callbacks. 

Successful people expect rejection - and keep moving when it comes. And they don't combine their self-worth with rejection from others.

New Dreams

Successful people also learn to dream new dreams - even when old dreams may have died or not materialized.  In the world of writing, successful writers understand it is the nature of the business to be rejected.  They expect rejection.  So, they submit one proposal, query, or article and then immediately start another one.  They don't stop hitting just because they miss one.
They keep going up to the plate. 

16 literary agents and 12 publishers rejected John Grisham's first novel, A Time to Kill.  When finally published, the book became a bestseller, and Grisham's books have sold almost 250 million copies.

Andy Andrews' manuscript The Travelers Gift received 51 rejections from the biggest publishers in the world over a three-year period. When it was finally published, it became a New York Times bestseller featured on Good Morning, America.

Andy learned how to persist through his rejections.

Use what you have.  If you have one talent, don't focus on the guy who has ten.  And if you have ten, you better get busy using those ten. And try to encourage the guy who has one.

You don’t set God’s clock.  You are not the master of your clock.

There is no shame in trying and failing, but there is great shame in not trying at all.

On our deathbed, may we not say, "I wish I had tried."  I don’t want to say that. I want to say, “I didn’t stay in the dugout.”

In what area of your life may God be saying, "Leave the dugout and step up to the plate?"

I based the above article on a devotion I heard from Alton Gansky at a Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.

Pictures used by permission from Pixabay

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