Knuckleballs & Knuckleheads

Written by Charles Gee

March 14, 2016

“I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our course.”
– Jeremiah 10:23

In the game of baseball, the knuckleball is probably the hardest to pitch, hit and catch. The pitcher doesn’t know where it’s going when he throws it; the hitter has difficulty adjusting to the ball’s random movement; and the poor catcher can only try his best to knock it down as it crosses the plate. Phil Niekro and Hoyt Wilhelm made a living throwing the knuckleball during their careers and earned their way into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame for their efforts. In the modern era, Tim Wakefield and R. A. Dickey have somewhat “mastered” the knuckleball and enjoyed major league success. Bob Uecker, who was Phil Niekro’s personal catcher, was once asked the easiest way to catch the knuckleball and he replied, “It’s easy, you just wait until it stops rolling, then go to the backstop and pick it up.” The knuckleball is slow by major league standards, only traveling at a speed of 60-75 miles per hour. It seems to have a mind of its own as it moves, dips and drops in every direction. That’s one reason you often see knuckleball pitchers give up a high number of walks and throw a lot of wild pitches.

Jeremiah 10:23 reminds us that we can be a great deal like the knuckleball in our personal lives.
How often do we find ourselves in trouble as a result of trying to direct our own lives? Like the knuckleball, we move this way, dip that way and flutter in every possible direction. Has your life ever been so out of control, that you felt you had rolled to the backstop and you prayed that someone would come pick you up? Have you ever been called or felt like a “knucklehead?” Jeremiah’s message is that it doesn’t have to be that way. When we surrender our lives to Jesus, our lives are no longer our own. It’s no longer up to us to determine our own path. Trying to direct our own lives is as hopeless as trying to direct a knuckleball. When we realize that our lives are not our own and that God’s plans are better than anything we could imagine, we have a chance. It’s about surrender—we need to surrender our will to God. He will show us the way to go and give us all the direction we need.

Lord, thank You for loving me even when I act like a knucklehead. Teach me Father to be obedient to the wisdom found in Your Word. Help me today to surrender to Your will and not to my own. Amen.

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