Ninety Nine

I think baseball is a wonderful sport, and that it’s human nature for us as parents to root for our kids.

It’s great to encourage them to be the very best they can be, but there’s a danger in being the parent of a child who plays sports.

A time comes when it goes beyond the fun, and enters a dark place that I’m guessing many of you can relate to.

That happened to me this weekend, and I realized my mind was in a really bad spot — it wasn’t about the innocence of the game anymore.

There’s not enough runs that can be scored. The catches aren’t good enough. The hits aren’t far enough. They aren’t playing to their potential.

The way you view the game isn’t through the eyes of your child at that point, but through the eyes of a vicious animal trying to catch its prey.

Then something realigns the way you see things very quickly.

It’s summer, and the temperature is rising. The sun is out, and the hours continue to go by. It’s hot. Painfully hot. Game after game they play.

Within a few minutes, one of your son’s teammates gets sick. And he cannot open his eyes. And he cannot stand on his own two feet.

911 is called, and the ambulance arrives.

I watch as they wheel him off the field on a stretcher, and it’s at that moment I realize my love for the game fails to compare to the love I have for number Ninety Nine and his family.

We pray for them on our way home, and are comforted when we hear later that evening he’ll be ok.

This is about me and how I need to constantly check the way I prioritize things around me — to remind myself of the things that matter in life.

And of the things that really don’t.

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