Last Saturday was Little League tryouts for Grant. Every aspiring baseball player had to attend a “skills assessment.” So there they were, 20 or so eleven year old boys all lined up waiting their turn. When their name is called they step into a batting cage and hit ten balls. Then they move to an area where they caught a few balls. Then it’s over.

Every year I stand there and watch all the kids do their thing. You can tell which ones are still getting used to swinging the bat and the ones that probably had a personal trainer work with them over the winter. (Yes, they do that – at this age!!!) One mom was telling me how her Danny was so nervous. He hit really well. Afterward she said he was so glad it was over. So I walked over to Grant and said in his ear, “Are you nervous?” He looked at me like I was crazy. “No, Dad!” he said. And he really wasn’t. He was just there to hit the ball! What was there to be nervous about?

I just wanted him to make contact with the ball. He did fine. Got some good hits and put some wood on the ball with the others.

This was our 4th year doing this. I hate it every year! Why I hate it has nothing to do with Grant. It has everything to do with my heart and all the comparisons and hateful thoughts I have as I watch every kid put on that batting helmet.

The truth be told I am glad to see some poor boy miss the ball. Then there are the kids who wallop the ball every time it comes near them. I imagine how arrogant they must be about their hitting prowess. I look to find the mom or dad on the sideline who is standing taller or smiling bigger as the boy at the plate hits every ball thrown. Then I begin to evaluate them with all kinds of assumed motives and ill conclusions.

I really tried to figure it out this year, but to no avail. I think I lack the perspective on myself to understand the motives of my heart and the resulting evil that oozes from it. It seems too complicated.

With that background info you can understand why verse 17 was like a cruise missile that targeted my dark heart!

“Do not rejoice when your enemy fails, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles.”

They aren’t even my enemies. They are just kids who want to play baseball!

I am asking God to let me understand where these thoughts come from and why I struggled with them. I want to attend baseball tryouts next year and enjoy it!