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Calling Pitches

One of my new jobs in Tennessee is coaching baseball pitchers at a local high school.  The other night we played the top team in our division and during the game I had been watching the opposing team’s runners when they reached first base.  I noticed early in the game that a certain runner started to steal second before my pitcher delivered the pitch. 

So, I stashed that in my memory bank and waited for the runner to reach first base again later in the game.

In the fifth inning we were down a run when that runner drew a walk and headed down to first.  Before the next pitch, I signaled to the catcher for the pitcher to pick off the runner at first.  We got him, the pitcher threw over and the runner froze, but then things flipped on us.  The runner suddenly sprinted toward second base, and my first basemen threw the ball over the shortstop’s head and the runner advanced to third.  Seriously!  I had watched and waited for several innings to pick off this one runner and my players still could not execute the play.  Not only did the runner reach second, but he also advanced to third because of our blunder.

Why does it matter?  Because I know God has often formulated a perfect plan for me and I have failed to execute it.  I think God knows we are going to fail, but he still gives us numerous opportunities to succeed.  I was so frustrated when I made the perfect call and my players blundered the opportunity, that I threw my pitching notebook against the dugout wall.  But, reflecting now, I realize that God’s perfect plan often includes my failure.  When everything is arranged for me to succeed, and I still fail, I realize nothing can be accomplished without God’s grace.  Whether I fail or succeed, God will continue to provide me with perfect plans for success.  I need to take the same approach with my players.  I might be frustrated with the result, but I most continue to provide my team with opportunities to succeed even when they fail.  God knows we will often fail trying to execute his perfect plan, but those failures forces us to trust him.

Jack Barr

Jack and Jana Barr are missionaries in Bangkok, Thailand. Before their first date, they both knew God was calling them to serve overseas. After completing their undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees they flew to Bangkok for the first time. For the past ten years they have served God by teaching at the International Community School in Bangkok, Thailand. Jack and Jana did not know God would use their daughter Marley, to forever alter their life plan while living overseas. Marley was born with Down syndrome and that event sent Jack crashing into a sea of depression. “I could not overcome the question of, Why us God”? Since that day, Jack and Jana have rerouted their plan to align with God’s plan. They started, If They Had A Voice, an awareness campaign that focuses on Down syndrome abortions. Their story has been featured on CNN, CNN Mexico, Life Action News, and The Insight Channel.

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