The thing about travel baseball is that it takes up YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. This summer more than ever before, we have been driving and sitting and cheering and yelling and packing up and driving and doing all again 24 hours later. We’ve been to Rockford and Grandville and Grand Rapids and South Bend and Mishewaka and Evanston. We’ve searched for shade in 105 degree weather and wrapped up in blankets in 50 degree weather, and we’ve missed church for a month. Seriously…today someone new was sitting in our normal spot and we had to find a new place to sit. They’ve probably been sitting in that same spot for the past month and thought that we were first-time visitors…that is how long it has been!
So I was torn this morning when Carson (who is in Chicago without me) had a game that started at 10, but church (which is in Spring Lake) started at 11, and I had to make a choice. Watch his baseball game on Game Changer or worship Jesus? I mean…it’s an obvious choice, right? So I did what any good Christian mom would do and went to church and set my phone in the coffee cup holder in front of me (thank goodness for millenials!) and watched the game on the Game Changer app while Pastor Thad preached about the Sermon on the Mount. It was the only possible solution, really.
Look, Game Changer is a lifesaver. It’s a real-time app that shows everything that is going on in the game. It’s like being at the game…but not. And after investing all of my time in this year’s season, I’m sure you can understand why I may have peeked open an eye and checked the score while at the same time singing Cory Asbury’s Reckless. I have to admit that this was hard for me, I mean…I am a hand-raiser (if you want the details, check out this previous blog that I wrote about being a handraiser). But I’m also a baseball mom…and I mean, of course Jesus is more important…but I still peeked. A few times.
The real challenge came after worship when we had to sit down and I had to move my phone from the coffee holder in front of me to under my leg in order to have a better view. (I mean, I would have set it out on my Bible, but I thought that might be disrespectful.) Everything was going well until the offering basket was passed and I had to stand up to hand it to the lady down the aisle. Unfortunately, my phone, which had been tucked under my thigh on the theater-style seat, went flying onto the floor in the aisle behind me, and the girl sitting there had to tap me on the shoulder and hand it back. Oops. I wanted to explain…it’s not like I was checking Insta…I was supporting my kid…and that’s the whole point of being a Christian mom anyway, right? Probably?
The hardest part, however, was that just as the sermon started, so did the 7th inning. The other team had a 2-run lead, and of all things Carson was up to bat. I’m going to be honest…at this moment I have no idea what Pastor Thad was talking about…but also I was praying the whole time, so I feel like that should count for something. Here’s the reader’s digest version:
Carson: Hits a double
Me: Excited look at Kaitlyn, control urge to jump up and cheer.
Next batter: Another double, Carson scores. We’re down by one.
Me: Clenched teeth, stomach in knots
Next batter: Single
Next batter: Walk
Me: Grab Kaitlyn’s hand and hold my breath while making eye contact with Pastor Thad to make it look like I’m paying attention.
Next batter: Hits into a double play (this is bad and means that 2 outs happen at once)
Me: Try not to cry
Ok, if you don’t know baseball, this is what you should know…It’s the bottom of the 7th, there are 2 outs, and the stress level is high. This is it. And then…the next kid…with two strikes on him…hits a double…and Carson’s team wins dramatically…And the crowd goes wild…except not, because that would be inappropriate in church. So instead, I hold back my excitement, drop my phone in my purse, and start taking notes on the Sermon on the Mount…I mean, I heard most of it…and probably the most important part. Probably.
So this is the thing. I love Jesus and I’m a baseball mom. And most of the time I get to focus on both. But sometimes…I mean every ONCE IN AWHILE…my two worlds collide, and this mom just does the best that she can to make sure that both Jesus and Carson know that I love them. And while I may not always get it right, when Carson got home tonight, I was excited to talk to him about his game-saving double…and about church, which, by the way was about not judging others…
So feel free to think on that.
And in the meantime, I’m grateful for a wonderful baseball season and for the upcoming period of rest that we get to have in which we get to return to church and hopefully get our seats back…until fall ball…which I think might start next week.