I love watching baseball. The level of play matters less than the enjoyment of watching kids I know (or the Mariners in MLB) play the game. Recently, while watching my son play varsity baseball, I was able to witness an absolutely thrilling moment. Our team, the Blazers, was ahead 3-0, but in the top of the final inning, the opposing team tied our score and then went ahead by 1. We entered our last at-bats trailing 3-4. To make the whole scenario more exciting, we were facing one of--if not THE--fastest pitcher we will face all season; his 90-92 mph fast ball is something to behold at the high school level.
Our first two batters were each walloped by one of those speedy pitches. The following two batters never made it to first, giving the team its first 2 outs of the inning, but also advancing our runners to 2nd and 3rd. Eddie came in to pinch-hit for a very crucial at-bat and he came through with an outstanding base hit that scored Nolan from 3rd and landed Eddie on 1st. Next, Ben loaded the bases with a walk.
Bases loaded. 2 outs. Game tied. Bottom of the final inning. My son AJ walks to the plate.
AJ had seen this pitcher in the previous inning and struck out swinging. Now, he must face this powerful pitcher again.
Strike one! (0-1)
Strike two! (0-2)
Ball one! (1-2)
With the count 1 ball and 2 strikes, AJ stepped out of the box, took a breath, and said a prayer before returning to his ready position. The next pitch came whirling toward the catcher, a little outside and about chest high. AJ whipped the bat around, made solid contact, and sent the ball sailing over the 1st baseman's head into right field.
Jaxon easily scored from 3rd and continued his run toward first base where he greeted AJ in the air.
This moment was thrilling. . . thrilling for me (mom), for the team, and especially for AJ. It was a mountaintop moment.
I love mountaintop moments. I wish they would last longer and happen more often because in those moments, life is amazing. In those moments, the cares and troubles of the day are silent and we get to be completely engaged and immersed in a thrilling experience.
But, life is more than a giant, never-ending mountaintop. The reality is that most of life's journey is made up of plateaus. We spend more time in the uneventful, unexciting, and lengthy seasons that prepare us to experience a mountaintop moment. For the Blazers it took a lot of work (batting practice for one thing) and many plays going right in the same inning in order to create the glorious walk-off win. It is easy to want to forego the work of the plateau, and instead to do everything in our power to find or create another mountaintop moment; but there are no shortcuts to the top.
Over the next few weeks of blog posts we will be looking at several different things we tend to do in order to avoid the plateau. Throughout these posts I hope you will see the value of learning to love and embrace the plateau . . . and to understand that God is very near and has lessons for each of us on the plateau.
Whether on the mountaintop or riding the plateau,
My name is Traci, and I love sharing insights that challenge and encourage people to be the best version of themselves. Click HERE to receive a weekly newsletter and never miss a blog post from Be Extraordinary!