As you may know, this year I have been trying baseball once again. Many times, I have tried to 'get into' baseball as much I love football and enjoy basketball. I has never taken, until this year. I have had big baseball fan friends who have given me different bits of advice throughout the years.
"You have to pick a team! You have to have a team!" (I chose the Cubs about 10 years ago just to punch a full "CHICAGO" ticket for all my favorite sports teams)
"Baseball is just better when you listen to it on the radio!"
"Baseball is an art; you should love that!" (appealing to the artist part of me with a plea: smart)
"You just have to go a park to enjoy it." (I have been to many AAA and professional games.)
"With 160+ games, you have to think of baseball as that friend you check in on a few times during the summer, and then really hang out with in the fall." (this proved to be the one to get me 'into" baseball this year)
A few years ago, I watched Moneyball and I enjoyed it. For those who have not seen it and never care to see it, let me give you a brief perspective. It presents the true story of the Oakland A's in a time when the management took to statistical analysis in order to change the way the game was played at that time. Instead of swinging for the fences all the time, make the primary effort just to get on base. More often you score when the goal is more often to get on base. You don't have have to hit a home run to be successful; you only need to get on base.
I have always been terrible at prayer. I hear stories of notorious prayer lives of incredible saints, past and present, and I get fired up at first. Then I get discouraged when I realize I cannot seem to get myself to sit and pray for 2 hours every morning at 4am. The trouble with this discouragement is that it becomes a stalemate for my entire prayer life. I have swung too hard for the fences and struck out in the process.
Take courage in your prayer life! You do not have to hit a home run every time you sit down to pray. You simply will NOT hit a home run every time, and if you keep trying to pray perfectly and greatly every time, you will strike out more often than not. In my life of prayer and entanglement with the heart of Jesus I am learning the art of getting on base.