A friend was recently sharing a story about trying to overcome an addiction, but he wasn’t getting anywhere.
He said, “I realized pretty quickly I couldn’t steal second base while my foot was firmly planted on first!”
He went on to explain that he eventually made progress when he decided to act. He joined a proven program to help his addiction, and he sought the help of mentors in the group. In other words, he lifted his foot from first base and started his journey toward sobriety.
The story gets better … he has been sober for more than 10 years, and he is now helping other people to reach sobriety. Sticking with our baseball metaphor, he has hit it out of the park!
While playing baseball in college, I recall the first time I earned my first hit. It was a fast ball on the outside part of the plate, and I was able to get the barrel of the bat on it, sending it cleanly to right field.
Wow! It sounded great, and I was happy to be on first base!
As the on-deck batter prepared to hit, I was reading the signs from our third base coach. He flashed the combination of signals, instructing me to steal second base.
What! I just experienced success by reaching first base, and now I might fail by being thrown out at second.
The pitcher was paying little attention to me, so I took a bold lead and was ready to go.
Working from the stretch, the pitcher delivered a fastball to the plate. I’m off-and-running!
The ball was thrown a bit inside, so my teammate did not swing. The catcher secured the ball quickly and threw a dart to second base.
I’m about 3 feet from the base when the ball gets there … but … the second baseman fails to control the throw, and I am ruled safe!
I made it!
Why it Matters
I wish I could tell you I have always been ready to take bold action. However, there have been times when I was timid, reserved, and unwilling to take chances.
For example, a friend once asked me to promote his nonprofit organization by agreeing to an interview with a local TV station. I made several excuses about how I was unavailable, and he eventually found someone else to do it.
My foot was firmly stuck on first base!
I was too scared to get outside of my comfort zone. What if I said something stupid? What if I started to sweat in front of the camera?
It’s true that I could have failed, but it’s just as true that I could have done well. Maybe it wouldn’t have been perfect, but it would have been good enough to spread the message.
Today, I’m far more action-oriented.
I used to be nervous to lead others in prayer, but I have started to do it more often, and that fear is slowly going away.
It’s true that I open myself up for mistakes, but this is just part of the journey as I make my way to home plate.