How do we limit the ups and downs of baseballs emotional roller coaster? Jeff Kent once said, “don’t let your highs get to high or your lows get to low”. He is talking about our emotional highs in the game. You see it all the time a player will get 4 hits and act like he has the game figured out. He will walk around and run his mouth more than usual. When I think of the emotions Jeff Kent brought to the game, I could tell he was truly devoted to this way of thinking. He could hit a game wining three run homer in the bottom of the ninth, run around the bases and act the same as if, he struck out to end a game. Same went for Ken Griffey Jr. you could see his body language never changed, and look as though he knew he was about to do something great. Nothing in the game could get both of these great players down. Both Kent and Griffey jr. are some of the greatest players this game has ever produced. These guys had confidence every time they stood in the box. I believe the three main keys to hitting are seeing the ball, being on time and having confidence. We can’t let a strike out, ground out or a bad swing, change the way we see ourselves as hitters. If you ask yourself the truth, you probably feed your confidence level by the successes of every at bat. If you lose confidence when you get out, or if you gain confidence when you get a hit, you are one of these emotional roller coaster hitters. I’m trying to help you understand so you can limit this roller coaster and be more consistent in this game.
It took me years to understand that I couldn’t control getting a hit. I could only control being ready, seeing the ball, being on time and having confidence. My goa is to hit the ball hard. When I get out or get a hit my confidence level shouldn’t ever drop. I see players go throw this emotional roller coaster all the time. If you are a streaky hitter you will really benefit from this blog. A streaky hitter is guy who when he gets a hit, he will get another hit then another. But right when this guy hits a scud missile at the short stop and is out, you see his confidence vanish. Or a pitcher makes a good pitch and punches out, he won’t make contact with the ball for a few games. We want to stray away from becoming this guy. I want to be the guy who’s 0-4 and comes up with the game on the line. I want to hit when a runner is on second with two outs down by a run and believe I can drive him in. The guy that is telling himself the more outs I make in a row, the closer I am to one of these balls falling for a hit, is the guy every coach wants on his team. “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from coming up to bat”. Babe Ruth. We need that attitude. Not woe is me and stop fighting or looking for excuses your not hitting. Start taking those negative feelings and turn them into positives.
In our Christian lives we shouldn’t let our spiritual highs ever get low. As followers of Christ we can have confidence that if we sinned, God has forgiven us. He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west Psalm 103:12. So we should ask for forgiveness and repent (which means a change of mind toward that sin) and move to be used for the next battle. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleans us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9. We shouldn’t dwell on the past because God doesn’t. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Romans 6:15. This tells us we also shouldn’t sin because we will be forgiven and take advantage of the grace our Lord has given us. Also, Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus Romans 8:1. So I don’t have to feel condemned because I have been set free because the of the blood of Jesus. By Jesus dyeing and rising again gives us the confidence that we are already winners. In the gospel John, it says, when Jesus had received the sour wine, he said “it is finished,” and He bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 We don’t have to let our highs ever get low because Jesus is victorious. God says in the book of Joshua “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:19. We go through this marathon we call life and ask the Lord to strengthen us, keep us from the evil one and stay at our peak confidence level by understanding Jesus has felt everything we feel and more. He has dealt with every situation we have and will ever go through. By Jesus dyeing on the cross and us putting our faith in Him, insures us we have won the battle with Him. So we should be supper pumped because we get to spend the rest of eternity with our lord Jesus. So our confidence should never change. He doesn’t love me anymore if I am doing His work, He loved me when I was in my deepest of sin. Wow, God doesn’t love us conditionally He loves us unconditionally. This gives me the confidence to keep going and fighting but also knowing that Jesus is my confidence.
None of this means life is going to be easy or we are going to go 4-4 every game. But Knowing that we have victory in Jesus and that He has defeated the devil, should motivate us in everything we do. Our confidence should always be at the highest level and never drop. We are going to make mistakes and we are going to make outs. We will mess up not because we want to, but because we are human. My confidence is in Jesus and He is the rock I lean on always. The bottom line is Jesus loves me if I go 0-4 or 4-4. He wants the glory no matter what the outcome is. We are going to make Outs and mistakes in life but dwelling on our shortcomings, can put us in a spiritual slump. Jesus gave us confidence the day He rose from the dead. Let’s continue to grind through these tough stretches in life and the game tell the Lord comes in His glory.