Home Run Life

Introduction:
Is life totally random or is there a design? If there is or there is not, what is life all about any way? Why are we here? How do we find our way when everything seems to go haywire around us? Could there really be a pattern on how to do life that makes sense? Yes there is, and the baseball diamond and Home Run Life lays out such a pattern. What is success in life? And isn’t success better when there is someone to share it with? And, let’s look in the mirror. Can we hold our head up high with self-respect? Is our success significant? Over the next few weeks we will look at a remarkable and simple pattern, using the analogy of baseball. This pattern lays out God’s purpose for our lives and any of us who feel their life is falling short of God’s promises. It will help all of us recognize and examine any gap we may be experiencing between God’s invitation to “life to the full” and our current circumstances.

Something To Talk About:

  • Home Plate – Connection: Everything begins and ends here; it is where you hit (connect with) the ball and hopefully cross back over at some time to score. Knowing God’s purpose for your life and connecting to His power to accomplish that purpose is the goal of every Christian. At home plate, we learn how to “connect” our purpose with God’s power so that you can stay in the game and have a home run life.
  • First base – Character: Or winning within. The reality is that even the best hitters in baseball get on base one-third of the time. The other two-thirds, they make an out, or they fail. What happens most of the time when a player comes up to bat? They fail to reach first base. All along the journey of life, all of us, at one time or another, let character issues get in our way – anger, addictions, selfishness, procrastination, gossip, lust., etc. Too many people today worry more about how others see them instead of who they truly are. John Wooden said, “be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think.”
  • Second base – Community: Win with others. Whew, sometimes “getting along” with others is a tall order. Other times it is not difficult at all. But stop and think about it. Aren’t the greatest and most memorable times in life the times when we share meaningful moments with others? Doesn’t it seem sometimes that the best part of church is doing life with other believers? Getting to second base ensures we will have more meaningful moments with others.
  • Third base – Competence:Win results. There is a disconnect in our culture. On the one hand, teams give out trophies to kids just for showing up. On the other hand, many people in the work world believe results are everything. Neither aligns with God’s perspective. Results matter, and third base is important to God, but He wants us to win results after dependence, character, and relationships.

Questions:

  1. Many Christian’s lives fall short of their dreams and of God’s desires for them. Do you agree or disagree?
  2. Which of the four bases have you spent the most time working on in your life? Which of the four bases have you neglected most?
  3. Can you relate to Joseph’s story? How?
  4. If you aren’t running the bases God’s way, what do you think might change if you started living God’s way and going around the bases the way God wants us to?
  5. Do you think any person would be capable of living a home run life (life to the full) while neglecting and failing to get to all four bases? If so explain.

Take One Thing Home with You
“Most ballgames are lost, not won.” – Casey Stengel

This is a great time of year. Baseball has arrived. Whether it’s Little Leagues or big leagues, there’s nothing like the sights and smells and sounds of a baseball game. The game is governed by the rules, and without the rules the game would degrade into chaos.

One of the rules of baseball is that the batter gets three chances to hit the ball. If you swing and miss three times you are out. For most of us that happens more times than we would care to admit. Once you are out, the next batter comes to the plate. The experience of striking out is compounded by the umpires. They don’t say, “well, you look like you’re trying hard today, so I’ll give you one more strike.” No, it’s just the rule: three strikes and you’re out — no more, no less.

When Jesus talked to His followers about forgiveness, He used a different rule. When someone has done something wrong to us, He didn’t say “Three strikes…they’re out!” He didn’t even say to allow seven strikes! Jesus told His followers — and He tells us — that forgiveness isn’t something you can put a number or a limit on. Forgiveness keeps on forgiving.

That is not easy. Sometimes we don’t feel like forgiving someone. But the wonderful news is that God has forgiven us much more than we will ever be asked to forgive others. And His love and forgiveness just keeps adding additional strikes. The ability to forgive others is how you live a home run life.