church softball

I enjoy sports. Really, I do.

I played little league baseball as a kid, a little football in high school, and ran cross-country one year in college. Additionally, I enjoy playing basketball, soccer, and a wide variety of other sports.

But I had never before played church league softball until I moved here. Now I’m in my second season and I enjoy it very much.

I wasn’t too sure they’d let me stick around after my first season, though! It was pretty rough. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bad at 1st base. But my hitting – goodness. I would get up to bat and hack away, trying to muscle out a hit. I don’t even want to think about what I looked like to everyone watching. 🙂

But this season something changed.

I received some good coaching regarding hitting form and style and made some changes.

I also came to a major realization that changed my whole approach to the game – I realized that I am not a power hitter. I will never be a Miguel Cabrera or a Mike Trout. So why was I trying to crush the ball?

So instead of trying to crush the ball at 100% power, I started trying to hit around 80% power and focus instead on hitting well. This season has been incredible for me. My hitting is dramatically better and my on-base percentage is higher than ever. I stopped trying to be something I wasn’t and embraced who I was as a ball-player. Now I can be more consistent and a better help to my teammates.

This is a lot like the Christian world.

I recently re-read a post from a famous Christian blogger lamenting the fact that the blogger’s church didn’t utilize her the way she wanted to be utilized. While I don’t know the specifics of her circumstances, I do know that it is common for people (myself included) to want to fill certain roles and to avoid others. But what we want isn’t necessarily the best place for us to be.

Sometimes we need to step back and say, “I’ve been trying to be this but God has really called me to be that.”

The Apostle Paul writes:

If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. (1 Corinthians 12:15-20)

There is a place for everyone in the church. God has given us all talent, skills, and abilities to do many things. Don’t think that you have nothing to offer. At the same time, don’t think that what you have to offer is what God actually wants you to be doing. Rather than forcing yourself into a role that’s not right for you, ask God and yourself where you actually fit best.

Then you can stop trying to be something you aren’t, embrace who I God has created you to be, and then can be more consistent and a better help to your church teammates.