Cornerstone Family Ministries
"Individual and Family Wholeness"

Newsletter March 2008


When I was a boy, baseball was my sport. I didn’t just have a mild appreciation for America’s game…I loved it with a passion bordering on an obsession. I could tell you the line ups for most of the American League teams, who was having a good season or who was in a batting slump. I had a fair collection of baseball cards with all the info about my heroes that came in packs of bubble gum…but, mostly, I loved to play the game. Our house was within eyesight of the local grade school and if I saw anything that looked like a bunch of kids or adults gathering for a pick-up game or a game of “work-up,” I’d promise my folks anything they required if they’d let me out of my chores at hand so I could go join in the fun. Usually they’d give in and I’d fly across the vacant lot to the school where we’d often play until the sun went down. I even remember a few times when some of the older guys pulled their cars around the field and turned on their headlights so we could finish a close game. Every so often my childhood friend, Clark Nesmith, and I have a few email exchanges about how great it was growing up in our little town. Though Clark now lives in Texas and I am way up here in the far flung reaches of the north, with just a few keystrokes on the computer, either of us can immediately trigger good memories for the other. I loved to watch Clark play…he could run, throw, catch and hit with almost effortless grace.

I stayed active in the sport up until I was about forty. I played little league, junior and senior high school level, intramural college ball, and summer league ball on a city team that could have held their own against the Oilers or one of the Anchorage teams like the Bucs or Glacier Pilots. Then, for years I played both slow and fast pitch versions of softball on church league teams in Washington, Virginia and Alaska. It was on one of those steamy hot and humid nights in the DC suburbs when I finally decided it was time to hang up my cleats and derive my joy from watching other’s play. I was playing first base when during a close play I wound up getting kicked in the head and knocked silly. The bad part was that I saw the runner’s foot coming and my mind said, “duck” but my reaction time betrayed me and “wham,” I saw stars. I managed to get myself together to play the rest of the game (partly because we didn’t have any extra guys for subs). Then, in the late innings, I was on second base and my friend, Ed, was on first. The batter hit a ball to deep left-center and we both took off for the plate as fast as we could run. Rounding third base, I began to hear footsteps behind me and sure enough, fleet-footed Ed was right behind me and hollering at me to hurry up. To say that I had lost a step or two of foot speed would probably be a world class understatement. I reckon I had lost a whole flight of steps. So, I opted for retirement. I still have my old glove someplace although our daughter, Michele’s, dog found it one day and managed to eat the leather strings and wrist strap off of it.

Now, I shared this little bit of nostalgic history from my past with you for a reason. It has to do with WHY I enjoyed playing ball so much. My dad was more into fishing and farming than baseball and my brother was and probably still is a super tennis player. So, it wasn’t just family tradition. I think the reason is that I somehow picked up the truth that anything you do with your whole heart, including baseball, is more fun than if you just fiddle around at it. And, yes…the spiritual application of this life lesson is that serving the Lord is also more fun, exciting and fulfilling if you do it with your whole heart. God loves whole heartedness. Half heartedness bores Him sick. So, if you take stock of your passion level for serving God and find you are doing it with a lazy or half-hearted effort…go back to spring training and get in love with Jesus all over again. Then, if you see Him gathering a few friends together to do something of eternal value, grab your glove and join His team. His team has the longest winning streak in history.

Wayne Coggins


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