Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Lord's Baseball Game

In my household, yesterday was the second biggest day of the year. I will give you a million dollars if you can guess what the occasion is- seriously can anyone guess? Okay, I'll give you a hint: Opening day of baseball season comes in first place, Christmas day comes in third and this special day falls in the middle. Anyone?

If you guessed yesterday was the day pitchers and catchers report for MLB spring training, then I owe you a million dollars. After a painful winter of pretending to be interested in college football, the wait is officially over and there is a new sense of hope in my house because baseball will be in full swing before we know it. 

Alright, I might be exaggerating just a little bit.
For my dad, however, it really was one of the biggest days of the year and for my entire life I thought baseball was the only sport that anyone in the entire world cared about. On March 8, 1988 I was brought into this world in Sarasota, Florida. At the time, my dad was playing in the Chicago White Sox organization and was down south for spring training. Not surprisingly, my first big outing as a newborn was to a baseball field.

Four years later we were living back in my dad's home town in Michigan, my younger brother, Larsen, was born and my dad was playing fast pitch softball for the Men's USA team. Needless to say, my entire childhood was spent running around a baseball field and eating way too many hot dogs. My grandma Cronkright has a baseball field in her backyard for goodness sakes. Sometimes I think my brother was born with a baseball bat in his hands and he hasn't stopped swinging it since. 

All of this sounds like a pretty awesome childhood, but unfortunately, being the perfectionist that I am, this only caused me to set some unattainably high standards for myself. Up until I was eighteen years old, I, too, spent my summers on a ball field, but never felt like I lived up to my own expectations. Simply put, I was never good enough.

During my graduation from treatment last year, my therapist read me this story. At the time, I was actually kind of annoyed with her for finding a way to incorporate baseball into MY special day. Looking back, however, I can see my annoyance has shifted and it's finally clear to me why she chose this particular story.

In honor of pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, I thought I would share it.

The Lord's Baseball Game

"Freddy and the Lord stood by to observe a baseball game. The Lord's team was playing Satan's team. The Lord's team was at bat, the score was tired zero to zero, and it was the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs.

They continued to watch as a batter stepped up to the plate whose name was Love. Love swung at the first pitch and hit a single, because Love never fails.

The next batter was named Faith, who also got a single because Faith works with Love.

The next batter up was named Wisdom. Satan wound up and threw the first pitch. Wisdom looked it over and let it pass: Ball one. Three more pitches and Wisdom walked, because Wisdom never swings at what Satan throws. 

The bases were now loaded. The Lord then turned to Freddy and told him He was going to bring in His star player. Up to the plate stepped Grace. Freddy said, "He sure doesn't look like much!"

Satan's whole team relaxed when they saw Grace. Thinking he had won the game, Satan wound up and fired his first pitch. To the shock of everyone, Grace hit the ball harder than anyone had ever seen. But Satan was not worried; his center fielder let very few get by. He went up for the ball, but it went right through is glove, hit him on the head and sent him crashing to the ground; then it continued over the fence for a home run!

The Lord's team won! The Lord then asked Freddy if he knew why Love, Faith, and Wisdom could get on base but could not win the game. Freddy did not know why.

The Lord explain, "If your Love, Faith and Wisdom had won the game you would think you had done it yourself. Love, Faith and Wisdom will get you on base but only My Grace can get you home."

This whole recovery process hasn't been easy and there have been days where I was ready to throw in the towel. Thankfully, however, with a new sense of self Love, blind Faith in the process and Wisdom from my treatment team, I have "gotten myself on base," so to speak. Grace has always been there; I just haven't taken the time to notice it yet. With Love, Faith, Wisdom, and Grace pushing me along, I absolutely believe that a full recovery is in my future.

I might have a love/hate relationship with the amount of baseball in my life, but for the first time in I my life, I finally realize that is okay. Just because I was born into a baseball obsessed family, doesn't mean in order for me to be "good enough" I have to follow suit. Recovery has given me the opportunity to make my own decisions and find out who I really am.

 Pitchers and catchers reported to spring training yesterday. Thankfully, however, I now realize that I have a choice; I can get into baseball this summer like usual or not. It's really that simple. Baseball will always be a part of my life but now I see that I can also pave my own path, away from baseball, if that's what I decide to do. All I need is a little help from my friends Love, Faith, Wisdom, and Grace.



  1. In the pre-dawn darkness 2 mornings ago, the alarm began to chirp and uncle pete reached over to silence it. He laid back down and I was drifting back off to sleep when he announced, "Pitchers and catchers report today." It was so bizarre and unexpected, it woke me up laughing. And I was laughing again as I read your hilarious post. I immediately knew what day it was, but had never heard the story of the Lord's baseball game. Great story, great blog. (And you owe me $1M) Aunt Judy

    1. Hahaha Aunt Judy, I'm so glad I have someone to share my pain/laughter with! To love a Cronkright is to love baseball, but thankfully, there is such much more to love. You might have to take a rain check on that $1M... I (surprisingly) owe quite a few different people already. :)

    2. I beg to differ... I know one Cronkright who no longer cares at all about baseball! Nor football, nor basketball... He does however dig introspection and open conversations about the daily struggles of personal improvement. Should be no surprise that he digs your blog. Next time I'm in Midland, and all the guys start talking baseball - let's go for a paddle! And btw cousin, I'm still stumblin' into decent melodies, but I seem to have run out of things to say. You ever written lyrics?

      Un abrazo de Bolivia...

    3. Adam!! You just made my day with this comment- Thank you! I think a paddle instead of a ball game next time you're home sounds great. I'm going to hold you to that. :) I have never written lyrics, but it might be worth a try. I seem to have a lot to say and get off my mind lately!

      So great to hear from you :)