By Greg Johnson
You’re playing baseball against a team that you’ve always considered your archrival. The players are from another grade school in your area and you know a few of them. You’ve grown up playing against them... and you don’t like them very much. In fact, the parents of the teams don’t even like each other.
The other team beat you once already this year in a close game—on their field. The umpire made a few questionable calls that didn’t go in your favor. But now you’re ahead five to four in the top of the sixth. The other team has their last ups. If you can hold them, you’ll win.
The first guy up lines a single to center field where you field it and throw it to second base. The next guy hits a grounder up the middle. Your shortstop knocks it down and flips the ball to second base to force the runner there. One out. On four straight pitches, the next guy up walks. Runners on first and second, one out... and one of the team’s best hitters is up. In the last game, he hit a double to knock in two runs and seal the win.
He takes one strike and swings at another. The next two pitches are balls. It’s two-and-two as the runners take their lead. When the pitcher winds up, you see the runners break for second and third—trying a double steal. The batter smacks a line drive your direction, but you get a good jump on it. Running in and to your left, you stick your glove out across your body and... and... make an incredible catch! Keeping your balance, you see the guy that was on second is all the way to third. The shortstop is on second, waving his arms. You plant your foot and make a perfect throw to second before the runner gets back.
Double play! You win!!
Needless to say, you’re mobbed by your teammates. Back at the dugout, as you’re getting ready to give the other team a yell, you notice they’re not going to give you one. Your team does it anyway, then lines up to shake the other team’s hands. You can’t wait to see the guy whose ball you caught.
Questions to Think On
• Are you the type who might “rub it in,” or would you do something else?
• When you think of the word sportsmanship, what comes to your mind?
• Is it ever OK not to be a good sport?
• Mom and Dad: What are your views on sportsmanship?
What Does God Have to Say?
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.