I LOVE baseball and softball. Both my daughters played softball – one a pitcher and one a catcher. Many a night I sat directly behind home plate (yes the umps needed my help) and watched the girls play. Softball is a game of signs. The catcher gives the sign to the pitcher of which pitch to throw. The coach gives the sign on how to bat, and third base coach gives the sign on whether to stop or keep on running. I love the thought process behind the signs that evolves into an elaborate strategy to win the game.
I remember one particular game in Chattanooga. Em’s team was playing for the state championship. The game was tied, and Emmy was on first base. Now Emmy was quite the base runner – known for her speed around the bases. The next ball was hit, and Em took off running. I watched, holding my breath, as the third base coach signaled for her to stop on third. She didn’t. Emmy cruised across third base and on to home plate. She slid in and was SAFE! Woo Hoo – right? Wrong! Yes, they won the game, but the coach was livid. You see – she ignored the sign.
We have a coach who gives us signs all the time. Sometimes they’re as bold as a third base coach holding up his hands – sometimes they’re more subtle and you have to look for them, but believe me, they are there. I love God signs. Having recently sold my home and trying to figure out where my family would land next, I told a friend I wish God would put a big blinking arrow over the house we were supposed to purchase. After 3 failed contracts and some bizarre circumstances that can only be explained as God’s hand, we saw our “blinking arrow” and purchased the perfect home.
But as I look back over my life, I can see so many instances where, like Emmy, I ignored God’s sign. I decided my plans were better than God’s and I plowed through third base.
But thank goodness our God is forgiving, and even when I took the wrong course, He nudged me back on the right path. There were penalties along the way and I know I’ve missed some tremendous blessings because of my stubbornness, but He’s still there for me showing me signs if I just look.
Those who inhabit the boundaries of the earth are awed by Your signs, strong and subtle hints of Your indelible presence. Even the dawn and dusk respond to You with joy. Psalm 65:8