Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Value of Position ...

Late afternoon. The sun is hiding behind threatening rain clouds. A few sprinkles spot the bleachers. I'm standing by the fence, watching my son and his teammates' baseball practice. James has improved since last year. His arm is stronger. He's moving faster. This is his third year in Little League and I can see the difference between those three years. I see the smile on Jame's face.  He loves this game. He feels ... accepted here. An important part of this team.

My husband is coaching the team. Two other fathers from the team are helping coach. Each of them has taken up a spot on the field, guiding the players ... teaching them the fundamentals of this game. I listen to their instructions and watch as the players respond to their coaches guidance.

Other parents stand outside the fence ... watching ... encouraging. The kids are practicing plays. Where does the ball need to be thrown if it goes ... right field ... left field ... ground ball infield? How many players are on the bases ... that's what makes the difference as to where they need to throw the ball. I hear the players laugther. They're enjoying the practice.

My husband switches out the first base player and sends him to left field. He brings the left fielder in to first base. It's important to him that each player knows what to do in each situation and from each spot on the field. He sees their strengths and knows where each player will benefit their team the most.

I see something else ... I see the face of the left fielder as he runs up to first base. He's smiling. Excited. He gets to be infield. For most of the players, infield is better than outfield. If you have a spot infield, you're a better player. More valuable. This is that players first year in this league. By the end of this season, my husband will have shown this boy how important each player and position is to the team. This player will have confidence and will know his worth. Infield ... outfield ... no matter where he is placed by the coach, he'll be important. Value does not come from position. It comes from your character. I don't find fault in this little boy or his excitement in playing first base instead of outfield. I smile because he is beautiful. He is someones extraordinary child. He has something to learn but that does not change his value or his beauty.

As I stand there, listening while my husband encourages the players and guides them in each play ... I think of 1st Corinthians 12. The body needs many parts in order to be a whole body. The eyes, the hands, the feet ... they are nothing without the other parts. This is compared to the body of Christ and the church. Each member is given qualities that make them who they are and what their purpose is in the Kingdom here on earth. Verse 18 reminds us that " ... God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased." The entire 12th chapter is an encouragement that each of us is valuable ... no matter what position we play in God's plan.

Sometimes, our humanness gets in the way of that plan. We see what someone else can do or is doing. We see how much they accomplish and think ... I want that. I want to be that part of the Plan. Somehow, we've decided that our spot is outfield and their spot is infield. Just like so many players on a sports team, we've decided which position is the best ... the most important. When really ... each position is important ... valuable. We don't see that we are extraordinary children of an amazing God ... a God who made us exactly as we are ... to fit in to His plan. We may have things to learn, but ... He sees our beauty regardless of where we are in the path to finding His position for us. He sends other people into our lives to help us ... guide us.

No matter where you are today. No matter what you are doing ... do it for Him. You are an important player in this incredible game of life. You are of great value to a Great King.

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