Ken Griffey, Jr., Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron – all major league greats, well known for their amazing ability to ‘play ball’. They were known as baseball chasers. Throw a fastball, a slider, a changeup or a splitter – they could hit them all! They lived for the opportunity to crush a baseball and send it flying hundreds of yards through the air; over the fence and in the crowds – Home Run!!  The stadium erupts and the fans go wild!  Did you know that God is also a chaser?  Like these baseball greats, God has an amazing ability to ‘play ball’ and hit Home Runs in our life as well.  The difference is – God doesn’t chase us around with a baseball bat.  However, many of us think that He does.  A popular belief is that God’s main ‘job’ is waiting and watching for us to screw up and then BAM, here comes the crushing blow of the holy baseball bat

For many years, my own view of God was as the ‘baseball bat God’.  I came to realize that the relationship with my earthly father mirrored in many ways my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  My dad had a very difficult time showing love, was emotionally distant and I lived in continual fear of doing something wrong.  I felt that the only way I could get his approval was to be ‘perfect’ because when I would mess up or not meet his expectations, there would be hell to pay.  Years later, I realized that I needed God in my life and Jesus to forgive me of my sins and I asked Him to come into my life and help me to live right, but I really struggled with the whole “God loves me’ thing.  I did believe in God and I did believe that Jesus died on the cross for me, but my acceptance of this truth had more to do with the fear of what would happen to me if I continued to mess up (God’s baseball bat) versus the truth that God really loved me, gave His Son for me, created me for a purpose and just wanted me to love Him back.  I lived many years waiting for God’s hammer to fall, His bat to swing or the lightening to strike.  Oh, what a miserable way to live – low self esteem, lack of purpose and value and deep inside I was an emotional roller coaster.  I remember gauging whether or not I had a successful day in God’s eyes on if I felt like I had screwed up that day or not.  And if I had, which seemed to be often, I waited in fear for the punishment to come.

But I can say no more do I feel this way!  What I’ve come to realize is that God does love me… unconditionally! God is not chasing me around with a baseball bat waiting for me to mess up. He’s chasing me around with a whole lot of love – unconditional love – that’s the holy home run! I continue to learn, grow, understand and be renewed every day by this amazing love.  And when I do mess up (or at least feel that I did), I no longer cower in fear, but stand in confidence knowing that God loves me so much that through Jesus I am forgiven if I ask for it and I move on.  Choosing to live this way has strengthened me and brought me an incredible amount of joy and peace in my heart.  I’ve also come to a place where I don’t feel the expectation of having to be ‘perfect’ and clean myself up before God will accept me.  He loves me anyway – in spite of my flaws and failings. Now that’s peace – that’s the way to live!

(and no, God is not Babe Ruth, but He is love)

God is love… so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment… There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:16-18

For more on how to find peace on the inside, visit the ‘Got Peace?’ page at the top of the homepage.

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