Pick Up The Ball. Throw It To First Base.

Carrying Through With What God Is Teaching You

“So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are
                firmly established in the truth you now have.”

2 Peter 1:12, NIV

“Pick up the ball. Throw it to first base.” That’s what our pastor, Alex Unis, said in his sermon last Sunday morning. He said it over and over again: “Pick up the ball. Throw it to first base.”

It wasn’t that he thought we hadn’t heard it the first time. He was relating to us how they taught young Little Leaguers to handle a ground ball: “Pick up the ball. Throw it to first base.” They’d teach them this over and over. They’d practice picking up those ground balls and throwing them to first base, all the while reminding them, “Pick up the ball. Throw it to first base.”

And then it comes to game time. The opposing player hits a ground ball! The home team player picks it up! And . . .

Stands there.

Totally at a loss as to what to do. He looks around. He looks up. He looks lost. What he doesn’t do is remember what he’s been taught. What he doesn’t do is throw the ball to first base.

We can laugh when we hear that story. Most of us have at some time had similar experiences trying to teach a child something—like saying “please” and “thank you” or putting away their toys when they’re done playing with them. We teach them something; we may even practice it with them—only to have them forget them when it counts, when they’re busy living life.

But did you ever think about how we do the same thing? We read God’s Word. We study it. We may even memorize parts of it. Then, we head out and get in the game. We get busy just living our lives—and we forget what we’ve learned, what He has perhaps been trying to teach us in many different ways.

And having forgotten, we find ourselves at a total loss. We look around, searching for an answer to whatever predicament we find ourselves in. We may even look up, tossing off a brief prayer to God for help, but mostly we just look and feel lost. Why? Because we’ve forgotten what it is that God has been teaching us in His Word.

Peter dealt with this in his letter to believers, this knack we humans have of forgetting what we’ve been taught: “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body. . . And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things”
(2 Peter 1:12-15).

He didn’t feel bad about repeating things:

  • because he knew we humans have a tendency, especially in times of trouble, to forget what we know to be true,
  • because he cared for his readers and wanted them to live a fruitful life that glorifies God,
  • because he knew that what he was teaching them was true and it was timeless.

Which brings it back to us. What timeless truth of God do we—do I—need to be reminded of again and again. What’s my “Pick up the ball. Throw it to first base” biblical truth that I need to hear again and again, read again and again, practice again and again until it becomes a part of my daily life?

What’s yours? Perhaps it’s one of these:

  • “Do not be anxious about anything, but . . . (Philippians 4:6-7)
  • “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
  • “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (I Peter 5:7).
  • “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters . . .” (Colossians 3:23-24)
  • Knowing there is “his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:19).
  • “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”
    (Romans 8:38-39).

Whatever it is—for you, for me—I’m thankful that God loves us enough and is patient enough that He’s willing to remind us again and again of those timeless truths we need to know to live the abundant life that brings peace to us and glory to Him.

Praying that you will know that peace that passes all understanding and that you will remember to follow through with what He’s teaching you, that you will pick up that ball and throw it to first base.

  • What’s the “Pick up the ball. Throw it to first base” biblical truth that you need to be reminded of once more? What one truth is God wanting you to remember and put into practice?
  • What Bible verse will help you remember that truth?
    • Write it out.
    • Put it where you can see it again and again as you live life.
    • Consider memorizing it.
  • Pray that God will make that truth stick in your mind and heart so that when life happens, when you’re in the middle of the game, you’ll remember and will carry through with what He’s taught you. You’ll pick up the ball and throw it to first base.

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