When you are playing baseball and your aim is to hit a home run, you don't even stand a chance unless you step up to the plate. It's like that in anything else in life, too. You've simply got to step up to the plate in order to take a whack at those curve balls that life has a tendency to throw at us.
You can't let fear of life's fast balls and curve balls keep you from stepping up to the plate. You can't let fear of failure or the possibility that you might get hurt stop you from stepping up to the plate. You can't let what others think, cause you to duck or run and hide, when what you really need to do is step up to the plate.
On the flip side, I have watched many I know–my wife, my sons, my daughter, friends and neighbors–stepping up to the plate in some pretty difficult situations. So what I am about to tell you doesn't make me better than anyone else. But it does illustrate my point.
Last week, when life gave me an opportunity to step up the plate, I am glad to say I did. Here's what happened. I was just sitting outside the inn where I was staying on a recent road trip, just minding my own business when I heard a man start yelling and cursing loudly. Quickly I realized that what I was witnessing was a father abusing his two children. Naturally, I was shocked and appalled at the thought that anyone would treat a one and three year old (or anyone else) the way he was treating these precious babies. I knew I needed to do something. I needed to step up to the plate and do it right away!
So I calmly walked over to this young man and quietly confronted him. The next thing you know, he turned his anger and rage on me, literally freaking out for the next 45 minutes. I admit, it was pretty scary!
Someone called law enforcement, and his wife was called as well. Soon he was arrested and the babies are safe for now.
I keep wondering what would have happened if I had failed to step up to the plate? It took me about a half-second to analyze the situation, and determine that whatever the risk, I was stepping up to the plate because it was the right and decent thing to do. (I am pretty sure I would never have been able to live with myself if I hadn't gotten involved.)
Everyday, we are all given opportunities to step up to the plate to do something that will make a difference. Thankfully those opportunities are not all so dramatic and traumatic, but sometimes they are even more so. Anyway, whatever the situation, take a quick moment to pray and plan before calmly stepping up to the plate!