He’s been waiting for this moment all season, and all season is eternity when you’re a little league slugger. He’s up to bat and the team is counting on him. Five minutes later, he’s sitting in the dug out, pressing a bag of frozen peas against his swelling eye with blood running down his face. And when the coach asks him if he wants to try again, the best answer he can see is no.
“No problem” he says, “just take care of that eye... you’re gonna have a heck of a shiner.”
“Yeah, no joke”
So there the little guy sits, feeling like a failure, and hurting like the dickens. All the anticipation and excitement that he felt has turned into the most powerful dictator in all of history. Fear. Suddenly, he’s afraid of getting back up to bat. He’s afraid of being hurt, he’s afraid of failing again, and so he begins to think that he’d rather not try then try and fail.
I was watching an episode of Dr. Who the other day. He’s currently traveling without a companion, and when this girl crosses his path they are forced to join forces and defeat evil and save the world. At the end, she wants to go with him. To travel through space and time and share in his adventures. He tells her no. Because everyone that he’s traveled with has left him, and he doesn’t want to be left again.
We all have batters boxes that we’re afraid of, and usually one in particular because it’s the one that’s hurt us the most.
Most of my black eyes have been gotten in the batters box of relationships. And they’ve been black and blue and bloody to be sure. I carry scars I might not ever get rid of. It’s the box I fear more than anything because I know what that box can bring. I know how much it can hurt.
Guess what friends? Life isn’t lived in the dug out... it’s lived out in the field. If you want to truly live, you’re going to have to get back in that batters box. You can’t hide forever on the off chance that you might get another black eye... you are going to have to let go of caution, and take the risk.
Am I living in the batters box right now? Nope. Hardly. In fact, at this moment, I am not only in the dug out, I am cowering under the bench, covering my head with my arms, trying very hard to pretend like I’m not as hurt as I am.
That last black eye was excruciating.
It’s still hurting.
But, am I going to stay here? No. I know that the game is worth it. Sure, it’s going to hurt again, maybe worse next time, but I will not live my life as a spectator because I am afraid. I cannot, and I will not. Because I know better, and when we know better, we have no excuse.
"Those who risk, win."
[The analogy above was mostly taken from Mark Batterson's: Chase the Lion audio series, and his corresponding book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. Except the part about Dr. Who, that was from me. And so was the practical application. That's all.]