When Life throws you a Knuckleball

Baseball season is upon us. I loved playing baseball when I was a youngster. As a teenager, I pitched. I recall trying to learn how to throw a knuckleball when I was in the ninth grade. In fact, all of us pitchers tried to throw it. None of us were very good at it.

What is a knuckleball? A good knuckleball is delivered with minimal rotation on the ball. It doesn’t spin, which makes it unpredictable. Former Dodger, Charlie Hough, one of the greatest knuckleball pitchers of all time once said, "The wind currents make the ball bob around like a Whiffle ball and it might break two or three different times on the way to the plate." As a result, the pitcher and the catcher—let alone the hitter—have no idea where the ball is going.

The knuckleball throws a hitter's hitting instincts off-balance, especially for big sluggers with big swings who have less time to react. Yankee outfielder Bobby Murcer once said the challenge of hitting a knuckleball was like "trying to eat Jell-O with chopsticks." I remember Vin Scully saying that the best way to catch a knuckleball was “after it stops rolling, you pick it up”.

Baseball purists don’t like the knuckleball because of its unpredictability. Everything about baseball is based on precision and predictability.

Like the baseball purist, we would love to have a life that is predictable. However, life is like a knuckleball. It is fundamentally unpredictable. Things can be going well in your life one moment and calamity strikes the next. You could be healthy and full of vigor today and discover you have cancer tomorrow. Your financial portfolio could be doing well one week and sinking into stock market oblivion the next.

When life is like a knuckleball, it is important to have something or someone consistent and constant in our lives. Ships on a turbulent sea need a lighthouse on a shoreline of solid rock.

For us, there is the Lord. He is solid. He is constant. He is always there. And He doesn’t change.

Malachi 3:6 says, "For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” The prophet informs God’s people of His constancy and dependability. As a result, they will never be consumed.

God’s immutable love and presence in our lives gives us a solid anchor point. Because He is consistent and does not change, we will never strike out when life throws us a knuckleball.

Are you in one of those knuckleball moments of life? Turn to the Lord. He will be there to help you. Remember, He is the one constant in your life.

Something to think about…