My dad was my little league baseball coach, and a great coach he was. There was one thing that Dad always did, and that is have us focus on hitting. We went to the batting cages a lot. There, we would work on our bat speed, and on making a good connection with the ball. When you’re in the batting cages, the focus is not on hitting a home run. The focus is on connecting with the ball, and hitting it the direction you want it to go. Dad would set the pitching machine to whatever speed a kid could handle. Then he would usually add some speed on to the pitching machine. I remember a game when I was playing against a kid named Zach Holladay. Even though it was just fifth grade, the kid threw heat. To prepare for Zach, my dad took me to the batting cages and turned the pitching machine up, just about as high as it could go. The baseball came out of that pitching machine at a sizzling pace. I struggled to make contact. Then it happened. I met the ball squarely with my bat. And again. And again. And again. When I played against Zach an hour and a half later, I was not impressed by how fast he threw. It actually seemed like he was throwing slow. And compared to the pitching machine, he was. Getting a hit off of him wasn’t too hard at all.
Let me make a practical application. Your Father in heaven, your Dad knows that you have an opponent who is throwing heat. But your opponent is throwing a two seam fastball. He’s throwing temptation at you, left and right. His goal is not to simply strike you out. He wants to take you out. And what he throws at you are some things you have to be ready for. I think that is the importance of taking personal time to honor God. Setting out time in your day before the busyness hits is key.
Reading the Word of God takes you into the cages.
Speaking the Word of God and praying is picking up a bat.
Memorizing and meditating on the Word of God and positioning yourself for progress with God as well as preparation against your enemy, well that’s swinging the bat against the pitching machine.
Doing the Word of God. That’s stepping up to the plate in the game, and making contact. Singles, doubles, triples, home runs. Keep your focus on, and you might find yourself on first base because you got walked or your enemy might get mad and bean you.
Stay at the plate, keep swinging, and keep going to the batting cages.