Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What Voice Do You Listen To?

I had the opportunity to take in an Astros game with my family last night. After our 3 mile hike, we finally made it to our seats in the nose bleed section. If you have never been to Minute Maid Park, they have a train that sets high above everything out in left field. In order for the train to get cranked up and move along its short little track, the Astros have to either hit a home run or win the game. Now, for us adults although its a neat attraction, its not really a big deal. But for my two boys, seeing the train move was pretty much the only thing that they cared about. Anyway, since it would take us about an inning and a half to get down from the nose bleeds, staying in our seats till the end of the game was pretty much out of the question. So, in order for them to see the train move, the Astros were going to have to hit one out of the park.

Not sure what inning it was, but at one point the Astros had loaded the bases and Hunter Pence steps up to the plate. My wife commented to the boys that we may get to see the train move. I turned to her and said it's not likely with Hunter Pence at the plate. Now, I like Hunter Pence and think he's a great ball player and know he can hit home runs from time to time. I was just making the point that he doesn't have the power Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee have. And although he is likely to drive in a couple of runs during this at bat, clearing the bases with a grand slam was a bit of a stretch.

Fortunately, for the Astros and all their fans, he didn't bother listening to me. He drives it to deep right and everyone knew when he hit it, it was gone. There I stood, in disbelief. Again, I didn't think it was an impossibility, just not likely. Of course, what I thought, didn't change anything. I'm not an expert, but then again even if I was, my opinion still wouldn't do much in effecting the outcome. The only time, our opinion makes a difference is when someone listens to it and allows it to effect them.

In our lives there are millions of voices out there screaming a million different things. If we stop to listen to them, most of them will be shouting out that we are incapable, inadequate, and unable. They'll tell us we aren't strong enough, smart enough, or talented enough. They'll scream that we never will, never could, and never should. Some of those voices are from those close to us, while others come from those who don't even know us. There are those voices that come from the "experts," the media, and Hollywood. Then there are those voices that seem to come from deep inside of us when we take a hard look at ourselves. Regardless of where they come from, they can do nothing in shaping us unless we choose to let them. It is when we begin agreeing with them that we give them power.

There's only one voice that matters in the grand scheme of things. And it is with this voice we need to learn to agree. That is the voice of our heavenly Father. If you'll listen close his message is quite different. It'll whisper, "You have what it takes!" "You can do this!" "Go for it!" "You can, you will, and you should!" His voice can be heard in those around you encouraging you and exhorting you. It can also be heard coming from deep inside you if you'll listen for it. It is when we come into agreement with this voice, that we find the kind of life God has designed for us to live.

Hunter Pence hit a grand slam last night, because he stepped up to the plate and swung the bat. I don't know what he was thinking when he stepped up there, but if he's like most men, I got to be thinking in the back of his mind he had to believe that a grand slam was possible. Every kid growing up playing baseball envisions a moment like that. And in that dream every kid envisions himself knocking the cover off the ball. It's not until those kids grow up and have spent years listening to those negative voices, that they no longer believe they can do it. I have to think that at the moment he saw the pitch, Hunter heard a voice that said, "you can do this." A split second later the bat hit the ball and the rest is history.

You can spend your life believing all those voices that tell you no, not, never, ever. Or, you can choose to listen to the one that says, "You have what it takes. Swing the bat!!!"

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