Perspectives can shape our lives

Published 7:52 pm Monday, April 18, 2011

Last Saturday, I was able to attend opening day for Valley Grande Sports Complex. Standing there on the field, as a former baseball player, immediately evoked memories of yesterday. As I stood around and saw the young ball players throwing and hitting baseballs I was reminded of one of my favorite short stories.

There was a little boy who strutted through his backyard, baseball cap in place, toting his bat and ball. He would say, “I am the greatest hitter in the world.” Then he would toss the ball into the air, swing and miss. He shouted, “Strike One!” Again, he tossed the ball in the air, swung and missed it.

He shouted, “Strike Two!” Cautiously, he caught his breath and said to himself, “I am the greatest hitter in the world.” But once again he swung and missed. He shouted, “Strike Three!” Surprisingly undiscouraged, he shouted, “Wow! I’m the greatest pitcher in the world.”

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We can learn a lot from this story. Life is not about how things are, but more importantly life is about our perspective. Although he discovered that he wasn’t the greatest hitter, he determined that he must have been the greatest pitcher in order to keep striking himself out.

When looking at the end of the Apostle Paul’s life it would have been easy for him to throw in the towel and have a pity party.

He was cold, hungry, imprisoned, isolated and lonely sitting in a Philippians’ jail cell. Had Paul analyzed his circumstances from an up-close perspective undoubtedly he would have been very distraught, discouraged, defeated and depressed. However, instead of feeling sorry for himself, Paul decided to step away from the situation in order to take the opportunity to rejoice. Some may ask, “How can you rejoice when your whole world seems upside down and closing in on you?”

But Paul wasn’t denying his circumstances; he just chose to look at his plight from a different perspective. When we look at our lives from a different perspective, we quickly discover things could be so much worse.

It is my hope that we begin to see every situation, circumstance, or moment of crisis from the little baseball player’s perspective who said, “I may not be the greatest hitter in the world, but I know that I’m the greatest pitcher.”