If you could hear the roar from the dugout, you would have assumed someone had hit a grand slam. A good ol’ solo home run, at the very least. The cheering was followed by the biggest round of high-5s and fist bumps you’d ever seen. Every coach, every kid on the team, every parent that was within 10 feet of the dugout came to congratulate Roenick on his hit.
But that’s just what it was. A hit. Not by baseball’s definition, since he was thrown out at first base, but his bat hit the ball and he ran as fast as his little legs could carry him.
So why the eruption of the crowd? That happens a hundred times every baseball season.
But it hadn’t happened to Roenick.
You see, he hadn’t had a hit all season. It was his first year out of t-ball, he had struggled to adjust to having a pitcher. And while every other kid on the team had had a hit this season, he was getting more and more frustrated with every at-bat that ended in what he considered failure. It had completely altered his attitude about the game, and about himself, to the point where he didn’t even want to finish the season.
No amount of “it’s okay, you did your best” or “it takes practice, you’ll get it next time” could change his mind. As a parent, it’s hard to watch your child struggle with something you have no control over, so I had resorted to praying. You may think God doesn’t care about silly things like baseball, and maybe He doesn’t, but every time Roenick stepped up to the plate I would pray, “Please just let him get a hit. Pleeease just let him get a hit.” And, finally, at his last at-bat of the season, he connected with that ball.
As he ran down the first base line and I realized he was going to be thrown out, my heart sank a little. I wasn’t sure how he was going to react, I was so afraid he’d be disappointed, I was afraid everyone would be disappointed for him. But they weren’t. They didn’t care if he made it to first, all that mattered was the hit. They all treated him as though he had just won the game, and he literally danced his way to his position at shortstop…where he proceeded to make his first out of the season.
When we got home, he grabbed his journal and disappeared into his room. When he had finished, he showed me this:
One hit made all the difference. It really made me stop and think. How often are we disappointed when we don’t get everything we want? How many times are we so busy feeling sorry for ourselves when God doesn’t give us the big things, that we don’t even notice the little things He does give us? We miss out on so many blessings that way. We literally rob ourselves of joy.
So take a lesson from an 8-year-old boy. Don’t be disappointed about the home run you didn’t get, just thank God for the hit.