The last few weeks, the Little League World Series has been all over ESPN, with some great performances put in by the kids, both in the US and International divisions. Along the way, there were clutch hits, great catches, and strong pitching efforts. Arguably, however, the best individual effort was delivered by 12-year-old Will Lucas of Fairfield, Connecticut—who threw a no-hitter against Indiana. A no-hitter is great at any level of baseball, but for a little leaguer, in the world series, on national television, to throw such an outstanding game is simply remarkable. Heady stuff for a 12-year-old to have to process.
Once of the toughest of life’s lessons is realizing that success is often harder to manage than failure. Success can inflate our egos in ways that can become both unhealthy and, ultimately, dangerous. To that end, the apostle Paul warned us wisely:
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Cor. 10:12)
At the time of success, we are vulnerable because it is easy to think that our success can be both achieved by and sustained by our own efforts. The follower of Christ, however, recognizes that any success we may attain in life us ultimately the product of Christ in us—not just us. Peter challenges us with a similar caution, saying:
Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5b)
Success is a wonderful thing, and can be the fruit of much labor—but maintaining a spirit of humility before God in our seasons of success shows a heart that has learned that it is easier to keep your balance when you are, humbly, on your knees.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain