Finding God's Winning Spirit


June 22, 2015 | Greg Smith | Devotional


I don't know where you grew up, or what was important to you as a kid, but in the South Little League baseball was huge. Every summer we looked forward to new uniforms, team announcements and the crowning jewel of summer – All-Star selection. One of my childhood friends who played Little League with me was named Ed Bagwell. Most of us grew up and moved away but Ed stayed home, raised his family and eventually became director of Little League baseball programming.

Years later I returned to my hometown to raise my kids. I ran into Ed one day while I was signing my son up for summer baseball. We chatted about old times and I ask Ed how he liked being the patriarch of the time-honored tradition of small-town Little League. He looked at me with semi-bewilderment in his eyes and said, "Things aren't the same in Mudville." I asked what he meant and he conveyed this story.

Ed told me he received a call at the end of last summer from a concerned mother who conveyed to him that she was disappointed in the Little League program. She went on to say that her 11-year-old son had played little league for three straight years and still was not improving. In her words, "You would think after three years he would be more proficient in his skills and performance."   Ed's reaction' was calm, insightful, and under the circumstances, pretty darn benevolent.

Ed responded by saying, "Ma’am, our Little League program lasts four weeks every summer. No child can perfect the sport of baseball in 12 weeks. If you desire improved baseball performance I would encourage you to spend some time in the backyard with your son during the other 40 weeks of the year.” Wise words from good ole' Ed Bagwell.

We have to be careful of the trends in our society. As parents we need to take ownership of what our kids learn and how they develop. We cannot expect this process to take place overnight, in a vacuum or outside of our control. We cannot subcontract out someone to teach character, responsibility, self-esteem and good choices to our children. We certainly cannot expect this all to be achieved in a couple of months or even years.

Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to their faith. We cannot simply send our kids to Sunday school once a week and expect them to know Christ and live out of His example. If we want them to be proficient in their faith we’re going to have to spend some significant time with them in "the backyard” if you will.

Deuteronomy 11:18-19 is pretty clear about our responsibility as Christian parents -  You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul… "You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.”

Good advice when it comes to faith or anything else worth teaching. 

I really loved this!
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