What Baseball Teaches Me About God

You don't have to love baseball to appreciate what it teaches about God.

George F. Will is an Op-Ed Columnist for the Washington Post. His areas of expertise encompass foreign and domestic politics -- and baseball!  In Men At Work he brings his analytical brilliance to the baseball diamond.

"A 90-mile-per-hour fastball that leaves a pitcher's hand 55 feet from the plate is traveling 132 feet per second and will reach the plate in .4167 second. A change-up or slow breaking ball loitering along at just 80 miles per hour travels 117.3 feet per second and will arrive in .4688 second. The difference is .052 of a second and is crucial. Having decided to try to hit the pitch, the batter has about two-tenths of a second to make his body do it. The ball can be touched by the bat in about 2 feet of the pitch's path, or for about fifteen-thousands of a second. So anyone who hits a ball thrown by a major league pitcher—who even just put the ball in play—is doing something remarkable."[1]

I share George Will's sense of wonder for the craft of baseball. It is a fascinating game! At the same time, like the Psalmist, I stand in awe of God who so uniquely created our bodies to make the seemingly impossible, possible.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14 ESV

These are the days of the Fall Classic. The Royals and Giants are chasing a World Series championship. Tune in, watch closely, and consider this:

  • The hands that grip the bat: In one square inch of our hand we have nine feet of blood vessels, 600 pain sensors, 9000 nerve endings, 36 heat sensors and 75 pressure sensors.[2]
  • The eyes that see the pitch: They are made up of 107,000,000 cells. The focusing muscles of the eyes move around 100,000 times a day. To give your leg muscles the same workout you would need to walk 80km (50 miles) every day.[3]
  • The heart that pumps the blood: It will beat 100,000 times every day.
  • The feet that run to first: There are 26 bones in each foot, many are half the width of a pencil, yet they support the players weight. Those same bones will help you walk 65,000 miles during your lifetime (two and one half times around the world).[4]

To paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett Browning: "Earth's crammed with heaven, and every baseball diamond is aflame with God, but only those who see take off their shoes; the rest just eat peanuts and hotdogs.”

My prayer: "God, I praise you for how uniquely you have made me."

[1] George F. Will, Men At Work: The Craft Of Baseball. Macmillian Publishing Company, New York. Page 192-93. [2] See "Amazing Medical Facts Of The Body" at www.medindia.com. [3] See Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, page 22. Also, "Top 15 Amazing Facts About The Body" at www.listverse.com. [4] Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, pages 26, 70.