The best four words to a baseball fan snowed-in for what seems like the entire month of February:
PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT
This day is one of my annual 'holidays.' While this may not be so exciting to someone like Marit in CA or people in Hawaii, Arizona, or Florida, those four words bring music to my ears. It means I get to hear about baseball again. It means I get to hear about the warm weather in Florida and Arizona. It means I get to hope, hope, hope the Pirates can at least be respectable (at least until mid-April when reality sets in). It means I can think about my trips in the warm, warm summer (with no snow....and no school) to PNC Park downtown to cheer on the Pirates and Blair County Park in Altoona to watch the Curve and evaluate future Pirates. Yes, today is a good day.
Granted, not much really can be read in to a team on the first day. Heck the position players don't even report until the weekend. Spring training games are a few weeks away. But, it's just the hope and warm thoughts. Also, 22 of the 25 roster spots are already figured out for the Pirates, so it's just a matter of some of the bench guys and relievers. The other entertaining part of the spring is hearing SO MANY players say:
"I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life."
My goal is to try to document all the quotes I read of this over the next month. EVERYBODY'S amazingly in better shape than ever before. Does that translate to a better team? We shall see....
In other realms, the snow just keeps on falling. I had a 95 minute commute home Monday night and a 60+ minute commute home today. I would like to make a request for the snow to stop falling, please.....at least during the afternoon commute.
The past two Sundays I've heard some interesting messages at church that used good catch phrases, so I thought I'd pass them along since they not only apply to one's Christian walk, but just to life in general:
*Consumers vs Contributors: The main focus of the message was to encourage active participation and acting out of your faith. Just sitting in the pews each Sunday and saying 'well that was a nice sermon' doesn't do much for one's spiritual growth. It's about living it out every day, whether that's in the form of serving others or actively pursuing your own growth through reading/music/groups.
This can certainly be transferred to life in general. No matter what activity you're involved in, get involved beyond just sitting on the sidelines. For me at track meets, I like helping out with the events because it makes the day go by faster. Be willing to help out in addition to sharing opinions.
*Trying vs Training: I first heard this phrase a few years back when I was coaching softball during my student teaching days. The head coach was getting frustrated with the team because he felt that the team wasn't getting good hitting results in the game. He felt the reason was that they were going through the motions in drills at practice and, when they got to the games, they weren't able to execute. They could try in the game all they want, but since they hadn't developed the skill sufficiently in practice, they were not prepared to produce timely hits in the game.
The analogy the pastor used was that if you were in the weight room and the heaviest dumbbells were laying on the floor beside you. You could 'try' all you want to lift them and all you'll get is a herniated disc in your back. Conversely, the best approach is if you start with lighter weights, train day-by-day and you'll see your results improve over the course of months and years. I know I need to apply this to my swimming and bike training. I can 'try' as hard as I want in the pool or on the bike, but if I'm not in the water or on the saddle putting in the hours, my progression isn't going to come along as much as I would like.
This is true in your faith, too. You can 'want' to be a better person or 'want' to be closer to God. However, if you don't set up daily disciplines and make daily decisions to put you closer to this goal it's just not going to happen.
So, the challenge for today (perhaps even a great idea as lent begins) is to shift from merely a consumer to a contributor and to commit yourself to consistent daily training versus simply trying.
Happy Pitchers and Catchers Day!!!!