the pitcher

There is a song by Kenny Rogers about a young boy who walks outside one day with his ball and bat. When he finds the right spot in the open field near his home, he takes the ball and holds it out in front of him. Just before he throws it up into the air he looks at the ball and says “I am the greatest player that has ever lived!” He swings with all his might, only to watch the ball fall to the ground…strike one.

He picks up the ball, looks at it again, and says out loud, “I am the greatest batter that has ever played the game!” He throws the ball up into the air and swings once again with all his might, only to watch the ball fall to the ground yet again…strike two.

Undaunted, he picks up the ball one more time, looks at it and says out loud, “Surely, there has never been a better player than me!” He throws the ball up into the air one last time and swings harder than any little boy has ever swung a bat before. Just as before, the ball falls to the ground after yet another miss…strike three.

About that time, the boy’s mother yells at him to come home for dinner. The boy looks down at the ball for a moment, then stoops down to pick it up. He grabs his bat and begins to walk home. After a few steps his eyes brighten, he looks at the ball and says out loud, “Wow…what a pitcher!!”

After repeated failures, Thomas Edison was once quoted as saying that he never once failed, he just found 2,000 ways not to make a light bulb. How many times have you chosen not to respond to God’s nudge in your life because you are afraid that you don’t have what it takes to succeed? Very often, it is through our failures that God brings us face to face with our calling. If you want to make a difference in the world, then be willing to use your gifts even when you are afraid that you might fail. The worst that could happen is that you’ll discover how great a pitcher you really are.

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