Refining Life, on Purpose

Baseball Metaphors for Moving Forward in Life

Lessons of chrisian Life in Baseball

Life is going to throw curve balls, changes ups, screw balls and sometimes we might even get beaned whether we’ve stepped up to the plate or not. But we must keep moving forward! How’s that for a way to start a post on a day of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game?

In their book Home Run: Learn God’s Gameplan for Life and Leadership, Kevin Meyers and John Maxwell relay a story about a high school home run hitter that goes to Spring Training. After the first week, he communicates to his family back home, ‘Hey there. Pitchers are not so tough. I’m Hitting .500 and may be starting in the infield.’ He communicates again after the third week, albeit with less optimistic news: ‘Hey again. They started throwing curve balls. I’ll be home tomorrow.’

Lessons of Chrisian Life in Baseball

There are many idioms and metaphors in baseball that can be adapted for moving life forward. Photo Credit: ryangphoto1 via Compfight cc

The story shows a very important ideal of our Christian life. Spiritual journeys are not one-time at-bats. They are more than a “cup of coffee” with the parent club. Our journeys span our entire lives. If we strike out, we have to step back up to the plate and take the next at-bat.

Whether you’re a fan of the sport or not, it has given us some great metaphors for our lives. So, in honor of the Midsummer Classic, here’s a few of may favorites…

Swing for the Fences: I love this one because it’s used to help us remember that when we have a goal in mind, we’re gunning for the whole shebang. The big enchilada. Most importantly, when you set your goal and are ready to go for something of importance or value, swing like you give a crap. Go all in and take your hacks! As Christ followers, we are to be fully invested, to be more than lukewarm (Revelation 3:16).

Step up to the Plate: This reminds us that we’re good enough to be on the field and in the batter’s box. It also helps us to remember that – if you want anything in life – you gotta take action. You’re not going to get on base if you don’t ever get off the bench. As we learn in Ecclesiastes 11, if a farmer never sows his seeds or takes in his harvest because he’s waiting for the perfect conditions, he will have nothing. We must get in the game.

You Only Score When You Cross the Plate: This is a great reminder of perseverance and endurance. You can have the best plans, all the talent in the world, the finest uniforms and even the best intentions, but if you don’t see things all the way through, it’s all for naught. Fulfilling our divine purpose requires this realization of focus, tenacity and perseverance (Nehemiah 6:3).

It’s a Whole New Ballgame: How many times have you been in the thick of something and loss appears eminent – only something alters the course and everything changes? Imagine being down five runs in the late innings and an unlikely grand slam occurs! Suddenly, it’s a one run game and you have a fighting chance to put up a W! Yes, it’s a whole new ball game at that point.

Let’s Put Our Rally Caps On: As the great Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over until it’s over.” Sometimes it only takes a little change of attitude to stir some excitement and get something started.

Leave Everything on the Field: This is an idiom that fits every sport. It shows fierce tenacity to give it our all for the prize. As Christians, we’re to “contend for the faith” (Jude 1:3) and we must fight the good fight (2 Timothy 4;7).

Do you have a favorite baseball metaphor or idiom that you reference to help move your life forward? I’d love for you to share it and its significance to you here!

About Chad Gramling

Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He's the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.