This spring we’ve enjoyed watching our four-year-old grandson play T-ball. Observing four-year-olds bat, tackle the ball, fight over it, forget to throw to base, play in the dirt instead of watching the batter, cry, pout, and announce “I’m done” halfway through the game has been fun and entertaining.
As I watched these little ones, several life lessons came to mind:
Be Sure You Understand the Game
On the T-ball field, it’s obvious many of the players don’t have a full understanding of the purpose of the game. When up to bat, some consistently hit the tee instead of the ball. Those fielding haven’t grasped the idea of picking up the ball and throwing to base instead of falling on the ball so others can’t get to it.
In life, we sometimes don’t understand a process, method, or sequence, yet opt to bluff our way through instead of taking time to read directions or gain knowledge. Perhaps we feel we should already know or don’t want to appear stupid, but acknowledging you are unsure and asking for help isn’t stupid, it’s smart.
The Importance of Teamwork
Last Saturday, as we watched the game, a fight occurred between two players over the ball. The coach rushed in and repeatedly announced, “Same team, Same team. We’re all on the same team!”
Many times, we forget the importance of teamwork. We become so focused on our own road to success we forget working as a team and aiding others who are new to the process provides a better outcome. Remember those who need a little coaching and share wisdom in an encouraging way. Working as a team ignites forward motion and benefits all.
Give It Your Best
In all honesty, some of these tiny players weren’t very skilled at the beginning, but patient coaching, and a desire to try, gave players the opportunity to be involved, learn, and have fun. With each game, improvement is evident.
Often, in life endeavors, we don’t win. You may not final in a competition, have your business proposal accepted, be chosen for a committee or leadership position, or get that raise you were sure was coming your way, but if you give your best effort, you are a winner and learned from the experience.
Sometimes, those on the field lose focus of their purpose in their current position. They turn and face the other direction, drift toward the concession stand, flop down in the grass, look for rocks, play in the dirt, or walk off the field in search of a parent or something to drink. A ball might land right beside them, but they are so engrossed in other activities they miss what’s going on around them.
Most of us struggle with focus from time to time. With so much vying for our attention, it’s easy to become distracted, delay goals, and get mired in timewasters. Focus requires determination, blocking distractions, and stretching your attention span.
Focus requires determination, blocking distractions, and stretching your attention span.
Enjoy Life’s Homeruns
One of the fun parts of T-ball is everyone gets to have a homerun at some point during the game. The initial hit might not go very far, but field squabbles, missed catches, and enthusiastic coaches ensure homeruns are part of every game.
In life, learn to recognize homeruns, even if they don’t involve a ball game. Your homerun may be different from that of others. Your homerun may involve self-denial, finishing a project, starting or sticking to an exercise program, or working on mending a relationship. Look for and celebrate your personal homeruns.
Recognize Life Lessons
At the end of each T-ball game, the players line up as teams and pass by each other, touching hands, congratulating each other on a game well-played. In four-year-old T-ball, there is no scorekeeping, no winning, losing, or outs. These little men are learning life lessons at a young age, lessons that will hopefully guide them in the years to come.
So much in life teaches us. If we are willing to observe, discern, and apply what we learn, life lessons help us grow stronger, physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
Do you need some remedial training? Have you forgotten some important life lessons? Find a T-ball game of four-year-olds. Watch and learn.
“To win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best. An athlete goes to all the trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup, but we do it for a heavenly reward that never disappears. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I fight to win. I’m not just shadow-boxing or playing around” (1 Corinthians 9:25-26 TLB).
If we are willing to observe, discern, and apply what we learn, life lessons help us grow stronger, physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.