I think you can sum up the way 2020 has turned out so far in these 3 words: modify and adjust. The coronavirus pandemic has smacked our world directly in the mouth and changed the way many if not all of us live our lives. At times it has brought us to our knees, and before I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I would have thought that was a place of weakness. However now I know it is the strongest position you can put yourself in. This is the place where we call out to Him for wisdom, which helps us prioritize our lives. This is where we stop trying to navigate our lives on our own and give God the steering wheel. Sometimes you need to ride shotgun for a while so you can learn the rules of the road.
During a normal summer my company, Cactus Athletics, would be hosting eight weeks of indoor summer baseball camps from 9am to 3pm on weekdays. I usually run the morning session until noon and then leave for my coaching job with the San Francisco Giants while the campers are eating lunch. This year we were not able to run summer camps which hurt a lot. Over HALF of our yearly profit comes during these two months, so as you can imagine it has been a big blow to our business. Top it off with the Giants not renewing my contract for 2020, and well, you get the idea. It has been tough sledding.
When we find ourselves in a circumstance like this, we always have a choice. We can sit around and complain or seek God for what is next. His answer doesn’t always come right away so in the meantime I encourage you to get to work at what you’re good at. I feel we are always more successful and happier doing the things we enjoy, regardless of the money we make. In my case I focused on meeting with my clients in small groups and private sessions and also took a job coaching in a collegiate summer baseball league. I’m not making as much, but God continues to bless us with favor in other ways. This summer I have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my family which is something we all need to do.
Our two boys are going nuts this summer. They are constantly fighting and looking for things to do. Normally they would attend most our baseball camps, but as you know that is not happening this year. The camps gave them an outlet for their endless amounts of energy and six hours of fun with kids their own age. Like a lot of others, Connor and Bryce lost their baseball season in 2020 and were bummed about it. We had to figure out a way to fill the baseball void that they lost. So, starting in June the three of us made a pact to spend two months together getting them stronger and improving their baseball skills.
The boys do baseball specific work four days per week and also have two full-body workouts. They get one day off. One of their favorites workouts is our 10-year old take on the “Iron Man”. They jump in the pool and swim for ten minutes, dry off, and then come in the house to ride the exercise bike and run on the treadmill. On baseball days they throw and hit in our backyard or go to the baseball fields at the park near our home. Last Tuesday our plan was to hit on the field, but when we showed up the sprinklers were on in the outfield. We didn’t want to ruin our baseballs, so we had a choice, get aggravated and turn around to go home or make an adjustment.
Momma Horton taught me when I was a young boy that when life gives you a lemon, you make lemonade. She wanted me to understand that I needed to make the best of whatever situation I was in and that whining about it was not acceptable. I was the youngest of eight children, so complaining didn’t fly in our house. I have continued to teach these principles to our sons. I want them to not only make good decisions, but to be thankful and also be content in the present. I still want them to strive for excellence, but not at the cost of belly aching when things don’t go their way.
“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”Philippians 4:11-13, NIV
Connor and Bryce really wanted to take batting practice, but they knew it wasn’t an option. The infield dirt was dry so instead the boys took ground balls the whole time. They knew if they missed one that the ball would get soaked by a sprinkler, so they focused intently on their fundamentals. They moved to different positions on the diamond and counted the hops each ground ball took. This allowed them to read the ball and make a decision on when to charge it and when to stay back. They worked really hard, did a great job, and had a lot of fun.
After we were finished, I asked them one of those Dad questions where you already know the answer; “Hey guys, want to go get a Frosty from Wendy’s?” Duh, its 105 degrees out Dad and we just took like a thousand ground balls. Yeah, we want some ice cream! We grabbed some burgers as well and headed home for lunch. It turned out to be a great afternoon.
We all are faced with situations where the result may not be what we planned. However, this gives us the opportunity to problem solve and think quickly on our feet. Sometimes we even find out that the result is better than what we planned. Here are some things to think about this week and apply to your life when you are forced to change gears on the fly:
- Pray about the situation.
- Quickly put things into perspective.
- If you are in a group, discuss your new options and make a joint decision that everyone agrees on.
- Go into the situation with a positive mindset and expect a good result.
- Assess the outcome of what happened and focus on what went right.
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