Bunt To Win!

“He (Jesus) went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Matthew 26:39

Craig came to the plate in the last inning of the little league championship game. He was the best hitter on the team bar none. His team was down by one run and with no one out and a runner on first and second base he was excited by the opportunity to drive in the winning run and be the MVP. As he stepped up to the plate he looked down the baseline to his coach on third base for the signal that he was sure would be, “swing away”. The signal came but it wasn’t the “swing away” sign he expected but rather the coach gave him the “bunt” sign. Bunt? Believing he got the signal wrong he stepped out of the box and the coach gave the signal again which he clearly understood to be calling for a bunt.

Craig shook off the sign and the coach (who also happened to be Craigs father) gave the sign again. Again it was clear, bunt. Angry, Craig stepped into the box and now his coach skipped all the decoy signs meant to keep the other team from knowing the signal and made it perfectly clear he was calling for a bunt. Craig angrily did what he was called to do and laid down a bunt and ran towards first where he was thrown out, but accomplishing what his coach desired. He advanced the runners on base to second and third, and the next batter drove in the winning runs with a base hit.

Craigs team won the championship and Craig learned a valuable life lesson that day that the Lord would use over and over the rest of Craigs life to teach him about what winning requires. Craigs father told his son that in life just like in the game of baseball we give up what we love for what we love more. Craig loved to hit and he was good at it but he enjoyed winning more and that was his coaches goal when he called for the bunt. Getting a hit wasn’t the goal of the game, winning the game was and Craigs coach was asking Craig to give up what he loved (which was to hit) for what he loved more (winning the championship). A bunt in the game of baseball is usually a sacrifice a player makes for the sake of the team to advance the runner(s) on base. Most baseball players would say they love to swing away but all would agree they love winning more. Sometimes to win you have to give up what you love for what you love more.

Sacrifice, thats exactly what Jesus did when He left His Father’s side in heaven and came to earth in the form of a man where He sacrificed His life upon Calvary’s Cross. Jesus gave up what He loved for what He loved more, just as John 3:16 says, “For God so loved this world that He gave His one and only son that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” The Cross is our sign from God of His love for you and me. Don’t miss the sign that communicates so perfectly the essence of sacrifice, “we give up what we love for what we love more.”

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”

John 15:13


Michael Osthimer





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