In the early years of my stalwart baseball career I can remember learning the fundamentals of baseball. This learning was so great that it has emboldened me ever since to be the game’s best critic. After all, what I learned as a six year old on a field not too far away in the Bronx was all that I needed to understand the game. Though, to be fair, it does amaze me how much a team that does the fundamentals on a consistent basis is able to find ways to win. There’s something to doing the fundamentals well. It can serve a team well in the long run sort of like the tortoise that beats the hare through a simple, slow and consistent pace.
With that said I find myself brought back to those early days of learning how to play baseball. The beautiful simplicity of what we were taught; two hands on the glove when catching a fly ball, choking up on the bat for better control, hitting the cutoffs, running the ball out, and the list goes on. But one thing stands out to me at present and has provided me with a mystical moment of sorts. It was how to stand and field a ground ball. Were told to stay low, to bend our knees and widen our stance. That’s how one most effectively fields a ground ball. Even if one doesn’t catch the ball chances are that he or she most likely stopped it in some capacity because of the positioning of one’s body. Such a basic fundamental can save a run, stop a runner from advancing or getting a double, and it can still result in the hitter getting thrown out.
Stay Low. It’s so basic and sort of boring yet go to any major league baseball game and pay attention to the infielders and that’s what they do every time the pitcher begins his windup. It works more than you may realize. Stay Low.
Discipleship sort of works this way. It’s keeping with the fundamentals. It’s really not all that glorious. It’s trying to embody the simple teachings of Jesus that will enable us to continue on faithfully like the slow going tortoise. Stay Low, do the basics, don’t seek after greatness, just get the job done. If you seek out the flare and ignore the basics of Jesus you may do well for yourself but you’ll probably miss out on the kingdom that stands right before you and within you.