James is only eight ... far from the Big Leagues and seemingly just as far from T-Ball days. He's not the quickest player on the team. So, he has to make up for that in other areas.
Running the bases is hard to learn. Believe it or not ... there's a system to the game. A system to making each play and being where you need to be at just the right moment.
But, it's also a game of chance. At least, that's the way I see it from my seat on the bleachers. As I watch the kids bat, run to first, take second, steal third and slide into home plate ... I see it as chance. Where will the ball be hit ... how hard, how far, how high ... and, who will be waiting there to catch it, field it and through it in to the bases?
Last week, James was on 2nd base ... watching the batter on home plate. That's what the players have been taught. And, for the most part, they follow that guidance. Watch the batter, as soon as metal and ball meet ... RUN! Then, keep your eyes on the base coach. The base coach tells you where to go ... stop on the plate or round it and keep on RUNNING! James did that ... waited, ran ... and then, looked back. He looked back at second base. He was looking for safety. The ball was hit right down the middle of 2nd and 3rd base. James had to leave 2nd so the next runner could move up but he couldn't make it to 3rd ... not when the ball was right there and the baseman was waiting to tag him out. So, he looked back and turned around ... trying to find a way around the baseman holding the ball. No luck, he was out.
After the inning, James coach gave him some pointers ... reminded James of their practice and to not look back.
Don't. Look. Back.
Sometimes, I feel like James did in that moment. Stuck between bases. I want to move forward. I want to look directly into the eyes of the Base Coach and RUN ... I want to know what it feels like to slide safely into home plate ... but, something holds me back. Leaving the safety of the base I'm on, that's a little scary. I step off the base and run forward but then I start to worry. So, I look back. Instead of trusting the Base Coach, I let my doubts and fears steal bases in my heart ... in my life. I'm sure there have been times when I've missed out on blessings and maybe even some home runs ... all because of my fears.
What about you ... do you look back?
Philippians 3:14 "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."