Yes, this one is an oldie, but a great reminder for this time of the year. As my oldest son finishes what may be his last league ball game tonight, my heart feels a tug of sadness.
This one is for all of you who have spent many late nights at the ballpark this spring. For all the boys with big dreams of championships as the season begins to wind down. And, for the mothers and fathers who wish for them their wildest dreams, but love them through the mundane of every day just as much.
No, not every day is of All Star caliber by the world’s view. But thankfully, yes, every day anyone can be an All Star. And, it is only because of Him.
A letter to my All Star…
I couldn’t be prouder of you. Yes, I was proud back when you were selected as an All Star player, but truth be known, I have always been proud of you. No league or organization needs to vote on you to be an All Star. You just are.
You see, when you were created by the maker of all the heavens and earth; that is when you officially became an All Star. In my book. And, in His. No group of coaches or officials can change that. There will be times in your life that you may not make the All Star team. Or, the team period. But, remember, that is okay. As long as you remain on His team you will be fine.
Ultimately if we aren’t trying out for His team first, we have it all wrong. No fancy uniforms or bat bags needed. Just a willing heart and a humble spirit. His call is for all and he wants no one left off the roster. I hope that you and any other young people will know this. Deep down in your soul. Yes, for a moment, you will more than likely be disappointed in the defeat of not being chosen for various teams, but I am praying that you remember the spiritual adventure you have been selected for.
One where you are always chosen. Needed. Counted. And, most importantly loved.
Yes, I was proud of you during every game and every inning, but none of those plays defined you in my eyes. Or, in His. Rarely, can I even remember on the next day any of your errors or losses. However, I do always remember your victories. The same is true of Him. He is always watching. Always there. Always cheering you on. He too, doesn’t keep record of the number of balls versus strikes. The bobbled catches behind the plate. Or the overthrown balls to first.
In His eyes your errors have been corrected and wiped off the book. They are no more. Thanks to the most precious gift ever. His Son.
His record-keeping is not of your wrongs, but of your rights. Comparing stats and keeping score has its place, but not in His plan. He wants you to know your worth. Not based on your ability, but on His grace. Knowing this and understanding this as you grow, sure will make for an easier time on the field in years to come. And, in every day life.
I pray that you will have every opportunity on the field and off. That you will find favor in the eyes of those who really matter and love you just like you are – errors and all.
Yes, playing on the All Star team was a true blessing. And, no, I am not talking about the actual baseball playing. I am referring to the new friendships made. The laughter in the dugout. The knuckles exchanged after a disappointment at the plate. The cheers from the stands when someone needed a little extra encouragement. The praise from your coaches when someone turned the game around by stepping up. The shared meals. The water gun fights. The popsicle parties. The prayer circles offered in victory and defeat. Yes, the blessing was in the people and the experiences with those people. Not the score on the scoreboard. Not the fly balls caught. Not the doubles at the plate. Not the batters struck out. Those memories will all too quickly fade. But, the friendships will not soon be forgotten. They will be a blessing for years to come.
That is what friendship does. It touches your heart in a way that can’t be fully described. Just felt and savored. Relationships matter. Not wins. Your greatest victory will be found in your relationship with Him. No victory this world offers will ever compare.
Congratulations on being an All Star! You have made me so proud. You have shown me that your sweet spirit loves to be a good friend. That your heart cares big for others. That your dedication to the team far surpasses your tiredness after a week or two of late practices.
And, that you will be ready when the next victory and disappointment comes. For all of these I am grateful.
Don’t get me wrong, I am your biggest fan and always will be. But, again, not because you earned the label All Star in baseball.
Rather, because you carry the name of Jesus in your heart and it shines through your life.
You will always be my All Star and I love you!