Watch the Bunt!
by C.A. Phillips
I was umpiring a 9-year old baseball game this week, when I got tickled at the team out in the field on defense. The team in the field was up 7-6 late in the game. There was a runner on first base, no outs. The pitch is delivered, and suddenly, the batter squares around to bunt. It clearly takes the defensive team off-guard, as kids begin to scramble. The runner from first takes off for second, and the ball hits the bat, and shoots foul to the left of the third base line. “Foul Ball!”
As the batter made his way back into the box, a chorus of pre-adolescent voices called out from across the diamond, “Watch the bunt!” I chuckled, as an expression of amusement came across my face.
You see, the realization that someone may bunt came too late. Fortunately for the team in the field, the bunt went foul on the previous play. The element of surprise was spoiled.
Comedian Tim Hawkins uses a similar, more hilarious example of giving good advice too late. He talks about how, as a child, he had hit his head on the coffee table. His mom responded by saying, “Careful!”
If we’re honest, we all have suffered pain, humiliation, or setbacks by failing to prepare in advance for something that was ahead of us. We;re not ready for the bunt until after we’ve been taken off-guard. We have given and received good advice too late.
I absolutely love the Book of Proverbs. Primarily written by King Solomon, who was the wisest human being of his time, it’s chock full of timeless truths for prudent, sensible, and shrewd action in the face of what life throws at us.
Consider Proverbs 22:3:
A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks;
a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered. (MSG)
That’s as plainly stated as it can be! Yet, many of us are the simpletons! We get clobbered because we don’t have our eyes open or our wits about us.
Today, let this be your warning of what’s to come. Let this be good advice that’s not too late, whether you’re on a baseball field or not.
Don’t just “watch the bunt.” Expect it.
C.A. Phillips is a lifelong sports enthusiast and youth baseball coach, and currently serves as the Communications Pastor and Director of Men’s Groups at NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, Ga. He lives in Kennesaw with his wife, Amy, and his two sons, Chaz and Chandler.
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