When The “Curves” Of Life Buckle Your Knees!


The summer after high school graduation I played on the local American Legion Baseball Team. It was a team composed of the best high school players in the area. I was thrilled to make the team and I gained a starting spot playing centerfield for the team. I had one of the most outstanding seasons of my life. But interestingly enough, the most vivid memory I have of that season is not very pleasant.

We entered the last game of the season fighting for a playoff spot. We needed to win the final game in order to have a chance at postseason play. It ended up being, not only my worse performance of the year, but of a lifetime. I have been playing baseball (or softball as an adult) since I could walk. Throughout my life I always prided myself in being a “contact” hitter who seldom struck out. In fact I don’t know if I had ever struck out twice in any single game of my life. That memorable day I faced a hard throwing right hander who ended up shutting down the entire team. We lost that game and it ended our season. But what I remember most was my third at bat that day. Unbelievably I had already struck out the first two times up. When I came up to the plate for my third at bat I told myself that no matter what, I wasn’t going to strikeout for a third time. I had never done so in my life and I had no intention of it happening that day.  I mean, who strikes out three times in a game! As a right-handed hitter I stepped  into the box and I quickly found myself with two strikes. The next pitch which came straight at my head. My knees buckled and I started to bail out of the batter’s box when I recognized the spin of the ball which quickly dropped over the plate. Too late! I heard the umpire call strike three and I looked back at him un-approvingly. As I started out of the box I glanced at the catcher who had a smirk on his face. I’ll never forget that smirk and I will never forget what he said. “It’s called a curve”, he quipped. Boy that stung! I’ve wanted to wipe that smirk off of that catcher’s face all my life.

Well, throughout my life I have had plenty of “curves” come my way! Sometimes I have been caught off guard and the “curve” has left me reeling! But I know that with the help of the Lord “all things are possible to him that believeth”. (Mark 9:23)

I struck out three times that day long ago.  It wasn’t because I had never seen a curve. I had seen plenty of them before that day. But I had never seen one quite like the one thrown at me that day.  When in the batters box of life, we know that a “curve” is going to be thrown at us. And even if we have stayed in the box against them before, sooner or later one will come at us that will buckle our legs. It will be a “curve” we have never seen!  But we don’t need to strike out! With the help of the Lord, we can gain the confidence and strength to hold our feet steady in the box and not bail out.  However, we need to be ready! Count on the “curve”! It’s coming! It’s thrown…at everyone! I mean “everyone”! It’s all part of the game.

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