Thinking About...TBall

Since my five-year old son has two games each week, I’ve been thinking about TBall. Unless you are contractually obligated (like through being a parent) there really aren’t compelling reasons to go to a TBall game.

Vectoring and Blobbing

TBall demonstrates that baseball is a complicated game. With the crack of a bat, the once geometrically well-arranged little fielders morph into a frenzy of vectoring and blobbing. If the ball is corralled, the overwhelming decision of what to do with it ensues: “Throw it to first” sounds easy enough. But “There’s a force at second base” is reasonable, too. And “Tag the runner headed to third” carries its own logic. With coaches (and oftentimes parents, too) yelling instructions to the ‘athletes’ Tball can be downright confusing.

Watching Tball is hard because youngsters paralyzed by indecision are pathetic and fragile creatures. It feels like a tease to glimpse older players on nearby diamonds gracefully and confidently field and throw and catch. Experience and practice allows them to play fluidly and instinctively.

Two things work together to redeem TBall: the short memories of five and six year olds and that most venerable TBall tradition—the post-game snack. By the time the handshake line is finished, the score is long forgotten, misdirected throws are a thing of the past, and all the kids care about is orange slices and Capri Sun. (For a comedic take on Little League nothing beats Brian Regan.)

Life and TBall Intersect

Tball is not wholly unlike life. Life—with its myriad choices, many of which are ‘good’—is complicated. We’re surrounded by voices calling us, urging us to move in one direction or the other, assuring us that the right play is at a specific base. These divergent voices often leave us at best confused and at worst paralyzed.

The wisdom born of faith—matured by experience and discipline—allows us to respond to life’s challenges without paralysis. Faith in Jesus fills us with the Spirit of God’s wisdom that allows us to respond to life’s vicissitudes with gracefulness and freedom.

And at the end of life—whatever our failures, whatever our indecisions—those who are attached to God’s Wisdom will be greeted with one thing: a cosmic feast far greater than orange slices and Capri Sun. (See Revelation 22:1-5)