There is a sign in our living room that says this: “Life will always throw you curves. Just keep fouling them off. The right pitch will come, but when it does, be prepared to run the bases.” – Rick Maksian. There’s an important piece assumed in this: in order to face those pitches, you have to step up to the plate.
I have the pleasure of watching our baseball players step up to the plate again and again. Whether their previous at-bat was a homerun or a strikeout, they still come back. They step up to the plate again after they’ve been thrown out, and they step up to the plate again after they’ve achieved success.
We probably all need this reminder; I know I certainly do.
After a challenge, it’s easy to want a break. Often, our instincts tell us to hold back. We fear failure and rejection, so when we have failed or been rejected, we tend to put our guards up to protect ourselves. Despite these instincts, we weren’t made to give up. We were made to persevere. To be resilient. To be tenacious.
I got a D in 7th grade literature. Where would I be if I’d given up on English classes after that? I wouldn’t have two English degrees, and I wouldn’t be writing this blog. I wouldn’t be a college English instructor. And what if I’d given up on dating after each breakup? I wouldn’t have my amazing husband in my life. I wouldn’t be a coach’s wife. If I gave up after each challenge, nothing in my life would be the same.
We equally need this reminder in our moments of success. After an accomplishment, we tell ourselves we deserve a break. We’ve made it. We have arrived at an apex. Or so we think. But we were made for so much more. Just as a baseball player doesn’t quit after a moment of glory, we must keep stepping up and welcoming whatever life may throw our way next.
When I completed my Bachelor’s degree in English, I continued in my education, and that education has opened so many doors for me in my career. In a marriage, we cannot stop trying to become better spouses after saying “I do.” We wouldn’t imagine it. Our marriages would flounder and fail if we treated the wedding day as the ultimate climax of the relationship. Of course, this seems like an obvious example, yet we fall into the trap of coasting after a success in so many other aspects of our lives.
Whether it’s after a trial or after a triumph, we have to keep stepping up to the plate.